COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids and Special Olympics Colorado will kick off the third year of their partnership with a match at FC Dallas Special Olympics unified team on Saturday, August 9. The game will take place immediately after the Rapids first team plays Dallas in MLS regular season action (7:00 p.m. MT on Altitude), with the Colorado Rapids Special Olympics unified team and their FC Dallas counterparts playing at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Tex. in a match that is free and open to the public.
“This Colorado Rapids Special Olympics unified team is one of the most important pieces of our club, and these athletes continue to impress and inspire with their hard work and dedication,” said Wayne Brant, Senior Director of Marketing and Fan Development. “We’re entering our third year of this partnership, and it is an incredibly valuable experience for staff, athletes and fans. We have also been proud to see this program expand into other markets and MLS clubs, and we’re excited to visit LA for the first time this year.”
Saturday’s match is the first of three that the team will play this season. On August 20, they will play host to the LA Galaxy Special Olympics unified team after the MLS match, and then the Galaxy will welcome the Rapids on September 5 for the final match of the season.
The partnership between the Colorado Rapids and Special Olympics Colorado is in its third season, and includes interaction with Rapids stars in addition to the experiences in Dallas and Los Angeles. Each athlete on the Rapids team received a full uniform to wear during the matches, and they practice every Wednesday on the Colorado Rapids training field. The program is made possible through the generosity of Kroenke Sports Charities’ Teammates for Kids, in addition to financial and in-kind support from adidas, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Coca-Cola, Cardel Homes and the Rapids.
The Rapids Special Olympics athletes are featured on stadium video screen during Rapids games, as well as via social media and a unique Special Olympics section on the Rapids website, with bios of athletes and coaches and a blog that highlights the team’s experiences. The Special Olympics Colorado players have received coaching instruction and mentoring from members of the Colorado Rapids first team, as well as club coaches.