Thank you to everyone who competed in Virtual Summer Games presented by Spectrum!

Sport Competition Information





Virtual Summer Games Highlights

Champions Highlight Show sponsored by Thrivent

Thank you to everyone who watched our Champions Highlight Show!
If you missed it, check it out below:

You can view other episodes of the Champions Highlight Show on Facebook and Youtube!

Thank you to our incredible Games Organizing Committee (GOC) Members!

Read about the incredible volunteers who make our state competitions possible below!

Richard Neuhalfen

Written by SOCO Volunteer Lyndsey Babcock

Richard Neuhalfen has been involved with Special Olympics for 25 years! He grew up on a farm in Illinois and has been involved in the construction industry since college. He has four children including a daughter who also is also a long time Special Olympics volunteer.

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Richard started volunteering at the summer games in Fort Collins and had such an incredible time. He loves the teamwork involved in making the games a success. His favorite memory is from an aquatics event when an athlete struggled to complete in a 50-meter race. With encouragement from fans and fellow athletes, she finished and then apologized for taking so long. When Richard told her that not only was it OK but that she would be receiving a medal, she burst into tears. He will never forget how excited everyone was for her. In just one word, Richard describes Special Olympics Colorado as “amazing.”

Mark Phillips

Written by SOCO Volunteer & Unified Partner Amelia Mitry

Thirty-six years of SOCO volunteering and Mark keeps coming back for more! Throughout his dedication and service, Mark has coached soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, bocce, snowshoeing, alpine, cycling, golf and bowling. At several of the past Summer Games events, Mark enjoyed his time as a soccer coordinator, medical coordinator and Director. Mark’s love of sports and SOCO Athletes combines when he leads soccer coach clinics and officiates at a multitude of events, including soccer, basketball, football, volleyball, bocce ball and softball. Also championing the Unified Sports movement, Mark has proudly partnered for soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, bocce, snowshoeing, cycling and golf!

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Mark first got involved with Special Olympics when a friend needed a soccer coach. It’s the joy the athletes get out of competing and their drive to improve their skills, coupled with the dedicated and fun volunteers he’s met along the way, that has kept Mark excitedly engaged. Summer Games is Mark’s favorite event to volunteer for, because it was initially his first state competition, and it includes his favorite sport: soccer.

Mark’s favorite memory with SOCO is when he got to take the Greeley Panthers to the International Games in New Haven, CT. Although watching the Panthers compete was a highlight, getting to meet Eunice Kennedy Shriver before one of the team games is something he’ll never forget. What an honor!
Mark’s advice for a new volunteer who is unsure how to jump in would be to sign up and get involved. He knows they won’t regret it. Mark also suggests asking SOCO how else they can help – there’s always so much to do and they will find something to love. Some of the athlete attributes Mark enjoys most is their dedication to competition, their ability to make friends and their willingness to play, win or lose.

Mark summed up his SOCO volunteering experience with these three words: Exciting, Fun and Inspirational!

Brian Stone

Written by SOCO Volunteer and Unified Partner Amanda Mitry

Brian Stone began volunteering with Special Olympics in 1995 while living in Guam. His journey with SOCO started when he contributed his time to Winter Games in 1996. Then he was hooked! He added Summer Games, Summer Classic, Fall Classic, Flag Football, Ice/Speed Skating and Basketball to his volunteer lineup. Brian also dove headfirst into SOCO fundraising events like the Triple By-Pass Bike Event and the Guardian of the Flame Ice Hockey Tournament.

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Brian began volunteering to help out his community, but he soon developed a passion for the SOCO staff, volunteers and athletes. Seeing the athletes take such pleasure in their sports and the camaraderie among everyone involved drives Brian to continue volunteering. Brian has a niece who currently participates with Special Olympics Michigan and an Uncle who had competed throughout his lifetime. Brian loves to see the happiness the athletes project, which reminds him of his family.

Summer Games is Brian’s favorite SOCO event because it allows him to be fully involved in every aspect of the competition. A close second is Winter Games. Brian’s commitment is evident in the fact that he takes a week off from work to help prepare for both events. Brian’s favorite SOCO memory was when he had to push the events, and even the BBQ grills, inside the gymnasium at the University of Northern Colorado due to extreme weather. Although his shoes were leaking water and his clothes were soaking wet, Brian took great satisfaction in knowing his quick actions, and the support of many volunteers, allowed the competition to continue. The teamwork was astounding!

Although volunteer work is demanding, Brian wants new volunteers to take time during events to watch athletes receive their awards. The feeling Brian gets when he sees the joy that spreads across each athlete’s face as they’re recognized for a job well done is something he wants all volunteers to experience. A few of the many athlete attributes that keep Brian returning year after year is their enthusiasm, dedication to training and readiness to compete with pride.

Brian summed up his SOCO volunteering experience with these three words: Rewarding, Love and Happiness!

Katie Tofte

Written by Special Olympics CO Volunteer & Unified Partner Amanda Mitry

Katie started with SOCO in 2006 when she helped with the Bocce competition at Summer Classic. During her fourteen years, she has put in an incredible amount of hard work and dedication. Being involved as a GOC member on the state level, Katie has volunteered at a multitude of events: Winter Games, Summer Games, Summer Classic and Fall Classic, to name a few. Though her volunteer roles have varied, staying involved with SOCO has never been hard for Katie. Two things that keep her coming back for more are the opportunities to make an enjoyable experience for the athletes and her appreciation of the passions of the other staff and volunteers around her.

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Year after year, Bocce has truly been Katie’s favorite competition because everyone can compete and have a good time. Katie says it’s one of the sports that can include many different ability levels and age groups. Regardless of whether an athlete is playing the entire court or using a ramp from their wheelchair, Katie loves to see their “1000%” engagement radiate from the inside out!

Katie’s favorite memory was the 50th Anniversary celebration at Summer Games in Grand Junction! Highlights of that event included the athlete parade through the infield of the stadium, the Kaleb Lee concert and watching the torch be delivered by a helicopter to the outfield. Once the games were declared open, fireworks erupted for everyone to enjoy. It was surely an event Katie will never forget.

Katie’s advice for new volunteers is to jump in and go for it! To volunteers it might seem like merely an event, but to the athletes it’s a victory knowing they did their best. Their smiles from the award stand beam brighter than any star in the night sky. The tenacity of the athletes and their friendliness throughout training and competitions are what light Katie’s unstoppable desire to help SOCO flourish.

Katie summed up her SOCO volunteering experience with these three words: Friends, Hard Work and Abilities!

Jose “Joe” Vera

Written by SOCO Volunteer & Unified Partner Amelia Mitry

When a former co-worker told Joe that SOCO was short on volunteers in 2002, Joe decided to give it a try. His volunteer work started with Support Services and Communications for Winter Games, which he thoroughly enjoyed. That first experience led to a Support Services role at Summer Games the next year. Joe knows it takes many helping hands and committed people to make the games happen for the athletes – so his first try led to 18 years and counting.

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Seeing the excitement on the athletes’ faces during Winter and Summer Games makes those two events his absolute favorites. Joe’s favorite memory with SOCO was during a Powerlifting competition. Watching an athlete break the State record for powerlifting was incredible. Seeing the overwhelming excitement of the spectators and athletes in attendance left Joe with an indescribable feeling- one he is not soon to ever forget!

If a new volunteer wants to participate with SOCO, Joe’s best advice is: “Jump in and have fun!” Joe has no regrets about his first time jumping right in and hopes others will enjoy stepping up and giving their time alongside the incredible SOCO staff and volunteers. As for the athletes, the pride and elation they display during competitions is what keeps Joe coming back year after year. It may seem small, but it’s a huge personal reward for a job well done.

Joe summed up his SOCO volunteering experience with these three words: Fulfillment, Joy and Friendship!

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