University News

UW-Whitewater to host Special Olympics Summer Games in 2024

January 22, 2024

Written by Chris Lindeke | Photos by Craig Schreiner

For the second consecutive year, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will welcome Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes and coaches to campus for the State Summer Games. The event is scheduled to take place June 6-8, 2024, and will include competition in track and field, cornhole, powerlifting, tennis and soccer.

In 2023, thousands of athletes, coaches and spectators were on campus for the Summer Games as the university welcomed a record number of visitors for camps and other events.

“We warmly welcome Special Olympics Wisconsin back to campus for the State Summer Games this June,” said Corey A. King, UW-Whitewater chancellor. “Our staff will work tirelessly to ensure that all athletes, coaches and fans enjoy a uniquely satisfying experience while they are on campus. As Warhawks, we embrace high-quality, high-energy events like this and pride ourselves on providing a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment. We are excited to watch these athletes compete.”

“We are thrilled to return to UW-Whitewater for our 2024 Summer Games,” said Chad Hershner, president and CEO of Special Olympics Wisconsin. “UW-Whitewater and the entire Whitewater community are truly collaborative hosts, and we are looking forward to having all community members join us for the games and experience the games alongside our incredible athletes.”


Athletes stand on a platform to recieve their medals.

Athletes receive medals on a stage at Kachel Fieldhouse. Special Olympics Wisconsin came to the UW-Whitewater campus for the first time with its 2023 games. Athletes enjoyed perfect weather and competed in and around the athletics facilities on the north end of campus.


All events for the 2024 State Summer Games will take place on the UW-Whitewater campus.

Healthy Athletes disciplines will also be featured throughout the Summer Games. Health Promotion, a discipline of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes that focuses on healthy living, healthy lifestyle choices and nation-specific health issues, will take place on Friday, June 7. The program offers screenings for bone density, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).

The Opening Eyes program, which will also take place on June 7, provides Special Olympics athletes with high-quality vision and eye health screenings, prescription eyewear and sports goggles and improved education and training for eye care professionals and optometry students so they are better able to meet the unique needs of this marginalized group.

Special Smiles, which provides comprehensive oral health care information including free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques to Special Olympics athletes, will take place Saturday, June 8.

The Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation and Golisano Foundation, CDC, support the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative.


An athlete jumps into the sand while competing in the long jump.

Dianna Nevsimal of Hartford competed in the long jump as Special Olympics Wisconsin came to the UW-Whitewater campus for the first time with its 2023 games.


Additional information about other events and programs taking place during the games is forthcoming. Volunteers for the 2024 State Summer Games are needed, and signup will be available on Or, contact if you are interested.

If you have a disability and require accommodations, please advise us as soon as possible. Requests are confidential. UW-Whitewater provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA. Please contact Morgan Anderson at or 262-472-1095 for further information.

2024 Polar Plunge set for March 9


Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity members jump into a cold pool.

Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity members take the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin. Warhawks participated in the Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Wisconsin at Cravath Lakefront Park on Saturday, March 18, 2023.


In addition to hosting the State Summer Games, UW-Whitewater annually supports the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin, a fundraiser to support thousands of Special Olympics athletes train and compete in sporting events and participate in year-round health and wellness programming.

This year’s Polar Plunge in Whitewater is set for Saturday, March 9, at Whitewater Aquatic Center. It’s the last of eight stops for the event, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024.

In 2023, Warhawk student organizations and teams joined community members and groups to raise thousands of dollars for the initiative. UW-Whitewater staff also participated as judges.

Learn more about participating in this year’s event on the Special Olympics Wisconsin web page.

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