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SOMO athletes excel at State Indoor Games

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ST. CHARLES – The 2024 Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) State Indoor Games brought more than 1,500 athletes, coaches, volunteers and Unified partners from across the state to St. Charles, March 15-16. The Games were held at Lindenwood University, Duchesne High School, Rec Plex South, St. Charles West High School, Cave Springs Lanes, Harvest Lanes and St. Charles Lanes. The theme this year was Aloha SOMO!

This year’s State Indoor Games featured two sports: Basketball and Bowling. Our bowling competition was on Friday, and our basketball competition was on Saturday.

“Experiencing the extraordinary culmination of tireless dedication from SOMO staff, countless volunteers, coaches, and approximately 1,500 athletes is truly awe-inspiring,” said Craig Hall, SOMO’s director of competition and outreach. “The level of competitiveness and sportsmanship exhibited at this event never fails to astound me, and I am deeply honored to contribute in any way. Congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to all involved in making this incredible event a reality!”

Sportsmanship was on full display throughout the weekend. SOMO staff members recognized the Francis Howell Yellow Tigers and the Springfield Bulldogs with Eunice Kennedy Shriver Sportsmanship Coins! Both teams displayed excellent sportsmanship during their championship game.

The State Indoor Games officially kicked off with the Opening Ceremony at St. Charles West High School on Friday, March 15 at 6 p.m. Chris Wilson with the St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau did an amazing job emceeing the program. SOMO athlete Maison Dennis brought the house down with his amazing rendition of the national anthem. Dennis is a student at Poplar Bluff High School, which was recently named a National Banner Unified Champion School!

Two of SOMO’s local cheer teams, the SOMO Spirit Squad and the SOMO Sparks, performed during the ceremony along with professional Hawaiian Dancers, Aloha Chicago!

SOMO’s St. Louis Metro Area Athlete of the year Jessica Bush lit the Law Enforcement Torch Run Flame of Hope with Sgt. Jason Flanery from the Webster Groves Police Department.

After the Opening Ceremony, SOMO held its annual State Indoor Games’ dance and bingo event at St. Charles West High School. St. Louis Blues mascot Louie joined in on the fun. Special thanks to local band Biscuits and Gravy for performing at the dance!

Along with the competitions, SOMO also held its health and wellness clinics – Healthy Athletes and Sports Zone. Throughout the weekend, we offered all of the following: Sports Zone, Health Promotion, Medfest, FUNFitness, Special Smiles and Fit Feet. In total, our volunteer clinicians gave out 165 free health screenings. We also were able to provide 151 educational resources through Sports Zone.

Congratulations to Shyanne Pyatt for winning a FREE Xbox at Sports Zone!

Special Olympics Missouri is dedicated to improving the overall health and fitness of its athletes, not only through organized sports training and competition, but by also providing free health screenings through the Healthy Athletes program. All of these screenings are provided for SOMO athletes free of charge. For more information on these free health screenings, visit

SOMO would like to thank all of its incredible volunteers all weekend long!

Thank you so much to our statewide sponsors!

  • Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)
  • Missouri Association of Student Councils (MASC)
  • Diamond Pet Foods
  • Rusty Drewing Automotive
  • Knights of Columbus
  • University of Missouri System, University of Missouri and MU Health Care

Check out all the photos from the State Indoor Games on our Flickr pages below!