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Nazareth breaks ground on new Special Olympics facility

Jun 14, 2018

The groundbreaking ceremony united youth and local officials for the first shovelfuls of dirt.
Credit Tianna Mañón/ WXXI news

Nazareth College is building a new state-of-the-art sports facility on campus that will also help promote inclusivity.

Tim Shriver, the chair of the Special Olympics, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the event. It was a windy day on campus, which Shriver took as a good sign.

“In this country right now, the winds of change are blowing," he said. "They’re blowing here for us to remind us that we have to be the agents of that change.”

Shriver is the son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the Special Olympics.

The Golisano Training Center will be a huge indoor sports facility with track, field and courts. It's named for Tom Golisano, who contributed a third of the money for the project.

Tim Shriver discusses the importance of Special Olympics.
Credit Tianna Mañón/ WXXI news

When complete, the center will be able to host Special Olympics events.

The initiative is also intended to connect Special Olympics athletes with health and human services students on campus. Special Olympian Amanda Vito attended the groundbreaking. She runs track, but says Special Olympics also helps her with other areas of her health.

“When I was adopted, I never had teeth work," she said. "I came here to America, and now I have them look at my teeth, they tell me I have great teeth. I just – Special Olympics has just been a great thing for my life and my family, too.”

The project is expected to be completed by fall 2019.