Special Olympics Texas Fall Classic coming to Permian Basin in 2024

Special Olympics Texas Fall Classic slated for Permian Basin in 2024

The Special Olympics Texas Fall Classic is slated to be held in Odessa and Midland from Oct. 3-5, 2024, bringing potentially 2,000 participants and their supporters to the area, and providing an invaluable opportunity for local athletes to compete statewide and qualify for national and world events, according to City of Odessa and Special Olympics officials.

On Tuesday, the Odessa City Council unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding to host the event. Midland city leaders are expected to review the plans in the near future. According to officials, the aim is to have the Fall Classic take place in this area for at least five years.

The Fall Classic in West Texas will feature five sports: Bocce, Golf, Softball, Swimming, and Equestrian, according to Jeanette Thorne, executive director of Special Olympics West Region.

“For me this is really exciting, because I’ve been telling everybody, the West is the best,” said Thorne, who has volunteered or worked for the Special Olympics for 28 years. “So now we’re going to prove it.”

The local region will economically benefit from the Fall Classic: for every athlete who participates, another three people reportedly attend the event, according to city officials.

The greatest beneficiaries, of course, will be Permian Basin athletes, many of whom haven’t been able to make the annual trek to compete at Texas A&M in College Station.

“With them participating at this level at the Midland-Odessa games, now they are able to advance to the USA games and world games,” Thorne points out, noting that the Summer Games were held in Berlin.

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