• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 7s

Hundreds gather for Special Olympics Alaska ribbon-cutting ceremony

By Shannon Ballard 9:43 PM May 8, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Thursday was a huge day for Special Olympics Alaska.

The nonprofit’s brand new sports, health and wellness center officially opened its doors in Mountain View. Hundreds were there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, including politicians such as Gov. Sean Parnell and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan.

Volunteers and coaches said the new facility will make a huge difference for thousands of Alaskan athletes with intellectual disabilities.

There are a 180 Special Olympics programs around the world, but only four have a facility that can compare. The 28,000-square-foot building is designed to help athletes gain more confidence and work toward a healthy lifestyle. It is a place to train, learn and interact year-round.

More than sports, the facility will offer classes on how to deal with issues such as bullies, nutrition and obesity.

The nonprofit says there’s no way this $10 million project would be possible without Alaskans stepping up to the plate.

“It’s breathtaking and it makes you honored to be an Alaskan,” said Jim Balamaci, president of Special Olympics Alaska. “It’s taken all of us to get here and that’s what makes it bigger and better. It’s a gift that we’re going to cherish.”

Special Olympics Alaska has more plans to expand its training center and campus. Within the next couple years there’s talk of building an on-site outdoor facility for winter sports.

Latest Stories

  • Man robs Juneau Petco at gunpoint

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jun 27, 18:05

    Tuesday afternoon, Juneau Police say a man robbed a Petco at gunpoint. Officers were called to the store around 3:30 Tuesday and began an investigation and search for the suspect. The suspect, who police say should be considered armed and dangerous, is still on the lam. He’s described as a white male between 25- and […]

  • News

    ‘If you’re ever going to take bear safety seriously, do it this year’

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 27, 17:57

    Fish and Game biologist Dave Battle says the agency is getting more reports of bear activity in the Anchorage Bowl than usual, and they are warning people to take precautions. “We hope people always take bear safety seriously,” said Battle. “But, if you were ever going to take bear safety seriously, do it this year.” […]

  • 5-year-old girl’s dying wish to ‘marry’ her best friend comes true

    by CBS News on Jun 27, 17:13

    With a sparkly crown, pink tulle skirt and rhinestone-lined silk top, 5-year-old Eileidh Paterson felt like a princess as she walked down the aisle to meet her future “husband.” It was a fairy tale the terminally ill girl dreamed up with her mom after she was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma — a cancer that […]

  • News

    Bogoslof erupts twice in two days

    by KTVA / AP on Jun 27, 17:09

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Volcano Observatory says seismic activity at an Aleutians Island volcano has diminished following two eruptions in two days. Bogoslof (BOH-gohs-lawf) Volcano about 850 miles (1,400 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage erupted at 3:17 a.m. Tuesday and sent an ash cloud to 30,000 feet (9,100 meters). The eruption lasted 14 minutes. […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaskans rally downtown, urge lawmakers to vote ‘no’ on GOP healthcare bill

    by Steffi Lee on Jun 27, 16:55

    Senate Republican leaders announced Tuesday they would delay a vote on the health care bill until after the July 4 recess, according to CBS News. Meanwhile, Alaskans are continuing to voice their concerns. A crowd gathered in front of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) office in downtown Anchorage, holding signs and chanting about their opposition to […]

  • News

    Aliy Zirkle’s retired Iditarod sled dog missing in Anchorage

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 27, 16:46

    One of Aliy Zirkle’s retired Iditarod sled dogs is on the loose in Anchorage. Barbara Swenson has been sponsoring “Scruggs” for years and adopted the dog from Zirkle over the weekend. Scruggs had only been at her home for a day before a loud lawnmower spooked him and he took off on Sunday. “Sled dogs […]

  • News

    Bear attack victims seek community support

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jun 27, 16:33

    The rash of bear attacks in Alaska this season has left a string of injured victims, devastated families and medical expenses. In response, some of the families affected have set up fundraising pages to help shoulder some of the financial burdens and set up memorials for their lost loved ones. Jack Cooper Memorial Fund Jack […]

  • News

    Brothers endeavor to name Alaska mountain ridge

    by Associated Press on Jun 27, 15:47

    MOOSE PASS, Alaska (AP) – Two mountaineering brothers who lived in Alaska briefly in the late 1960s have asked the state Historical Commission to formally name three peaks and a ridge. The Peninsula-Clarion reports that if the request is granted, the ridge in Moose Pass will be named Locomotive Ridge, with peaks named the Engine, the […]