More than 500 athletes and coaches from across New York State will come to Central New York in February for the 2022 Special Olympics New York State Winter Games.

Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman says that hosting this year’s special games is a welcoming invitation.

Local venues will also take in part in hosting Olympic events including the OnCenter, Highland Forest, Greek Peak Ski Resort, Thornden Park and the War Memorial. Volunteers are needed to make the games run smoothly and Stacey adds that no sports experience is required. Volunteers must be vaccinated and registered in advance and some job duties include parking, meal distribution, safety assurance, awards, athlete escorts, timers and scorekeepers.

Special Olympics Athlete Kayla McKeon says that the events are exciting for all athletes involved and it’s a great opportunity for those who live locally to showcase what they can do here at home. Athletes train for 8 weeks and compete regionally to qualify for state games. It’s the highest level of Special Olympics competition available in New York State. 

Special Olympics New York is hosting the 2022 State Winter Games around Central New York on February 25th and 26th. To learn more, see a full schedule of events and locations, or to sign up to volunteer, visit