SEARCY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Harding University in Searcy will host the 2022 Special Olympics Arkansas Summer Games from May 12-13.

According to a press release from the university, this year’s theme is “Breakthrough.” Athletes will compete in sports including track & field, powerlifting, swimming, tennis, flag football and more.

“We are excited to have the Special Olympics Arkansas Summer Games back in Searcy and back on Harding’s campus,” said Dr. John Richard Duke, executive director of the American Studies Institute. “The Special Olympics Arkansas staff is great to work with, and each athletes’ brave pursuit of excellence inspires everyone involved.”

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics began Monday, May 9, commencing a three day journey in which officers will carry the “Flame of Hope” from all four corners of the state. The final leg is set to complete the last 50 miles to Searcy Wednesday, May 11, bringing awareness for Special Olympics Arkansas athletes and the Summer Games.

“2022 Summer Games still look a little different as we ease back in from the pandemic, but I am confident it will carry the same excitement for each athlete competing,” said Terri Weir, CEO Special Olympics Arkansas. “We are excited to welcome the SOAR family and our partners to Harding’s campus for Breakthrough 2022 Special Olympics Arkansas Summer Games.”

The opening ceremonies will be livestreamed on Wednesday, May 11. All teams and individuals will receive their awards the day of their competition. 

For more information, visit Volunteers will be stationed on Burks Blvd. to welcome athletes and families as they arrive on campus on Thursday and Friday, May 12-13.