If you heard the Robins Stadium roar this weekend, just take it as a sign that the champions are back.

We’re always excited to host the Virginia Special Olympics Summer Games. Some have lost count of how many years we’ve been a host partner to the games, but we know for sure that UR has been home for them since at least 1982.

Our commitment runs deeper than just opening up our courts, fields, and residence halls to athletes and their families. This is an important opportunity for Richmond to celebrate how welcoming and inclusive our campus is for everyone.

Over the years, many students, staff, and alumni have become connected to the Special Olympics, whether as volunteers to cheer on the athletes or as professional staff. Katie Botha, C’12, is the vice president for development and communications at VSO, and other alumni have been inspired by their time as student volunteers to get involved in major ways for other states.

UR police officers have been dedicated to the law enforcement torch run to raise funds for the games, and this year a URPD cruiser led this year's motorcade ushering the torch into campus to light the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremonies at Robins Stadium.

During the weekend, athletes will also receive first-rate medical care as eye doctors and dentists give their time to help.

It’s an impressive event. Over the weekend, more than 1,500 champions competed for gold in bocce, swimming, softball, track & field, bowling, and tennis.

If you’d like to cheer from afar, Spider Athletics livestreamed the opening ceremonies in addition to some of the competitions this weekend.