Special Olympics games wrap up today

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The 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games wrap up today with closing ceremonies, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Devaney Sports Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. Free tickets to the closing ceremonies will be available at the Devaney Center will-call window from noon to 7 p.m.

Individuals can still volunteer as "Fans in the Stands" while the athletic events continue this morning into the afternoon, see schedule below.

The Special Olympics experience at UNL has been a very positive experience for all involved, said Christine Jackson, vice chancellor for Business and Finance.

"The hours and hours of planning from the Special Olympics, City of Lincoln, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and UNL staff have really paid off," said Jackson. "Not only have we enjoyed having these athletes, volunteers and fans on our campus, but we surely have a new appreciation for the whole Special Olympics movement.

"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and friendliness of everyone who has come to our campus for these games. It has been a privilege to work with them and create what has been an overwhelmingly positive experience."

Jackson said the entire Special Olympics experience - from the creating the bid for the games to the closing ceremonies - will be a stepping stone that allows Lincoln to hold similar communitywide events in the future.

"I think the Special Olympics has showed how well organizations in Lincoln can organize for large events," said Jackson. "My hope is that we have the opportunity to work again with city officials and the Chamber of Commerce to host events of this magnitude again. These are the kinds of events we need to showcase Lincoln and the university."

Athletes and coaches depart from UNL's residence halls July 24, taking part in the Cessna Airlift, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Lincoln and Omaha airports.

For more information on the games, go to http://www.2010specialolympics.org. See University Communications photos from the games at http://go.unl.edu/tdh.

Remaining 2010 USA National Games events today are:
7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aquatics, Devaney Center

8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Soccer, Abbott Sports Complex

8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Volleyball, Abbott Sports Complex

9 to 11:30 a.m., Bowling, Sun Valley Lanes

9 a.m. to noon, Rhythmic Gymnastics Clinic, Pershing Auditorium

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Basketball, Lincoln Southeast High School

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Powerlifting, Kimball Hall

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Softball, Fleming Fields

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sports Experience, Pershing Center

10:30 to 11 a.m., Sports Proclamation, Pershing Center

7 to 9:30 p.m., Closing Ceremonies/Youth Rally, Devaney Center

More details at: http://www.2010specialolympics.org