• 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

  • News

    The Latest: Prosecutor says Holmes’ evaluators didn’t agree

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 12:36

    2 p.m. The prosecutor in the Colorado movie theater shooting trial says the experts who examined the gunman couldn’t agree on what mental disorder he has. District Attorney George Brauchler also says James Holmes, a former graduate student in neuroscience, gave them conflicting answers about his motives. Brauchler noted during opening arguments that Holmes told […]

  • News

    A moving target: Postal inspectors root out liquor by mail

    by Ben Matheson / KYUK on Apr 27, 12:09

    Citizens in Bethel are weighing a decision on a proposal for the for the first liquor store in decades. In the shadow of the debate is a powerful and elaborate bootlegging economy across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. A small team of federal law enforcement agents with the United States Postal Inspection Service is working to keep alcohol out […]

  • News

    Snowmachiner rescued after sustaining serious injuries

    by Hope Miller on Apr 27, 12:08

    A Valdez man snowmachining with a group near Thompson Pass was hospitalized after sustaining serious injuries in a crash Saturday, authorities say. Andrew Doherty, 29, was flown to a hospital in Valdez before being taken to Anchorage for treatment, according to an online dispatch from Alaska State Troopers. Allie Hendrickson, spokeswoman for the City of […]

  • Politics

    Alaska Senate accepts budget proposal

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 12:06

    The Alaska Senate has voted to accept a budget proposal that, without the support of House Democrats, could leave state government partially funded. The House’s Democratic-led minority has opposed cuts to education included in the budget, as well as the budget’s rejection of negotiated pay raises for labor union contracts for next year, among other […]

  • On-Air

    Teacher of the Week: Brandon Hipsak

    by Daybreak Staff on Apr 27, 11:25

    “Keeping it real” with his students is the key to success for Service High School English teacher Brandon Hipsak. “I treat them respectfully. I demand responsibility out of them. I demand effort out of them, and if I don’t get those three components they know they’ll be in trouble and they’ll have to serve something […]

  • DayBreak

    United Way hosts scavenger hunt to support kids in the community

    by Daybreak Staff on Apr 27, 11:09

    Pull a team together and put your thinking caps on — United Way of Anchorage is hosting its first downtown scavenger hunt. It’s all to support programs and special works like 90% by 2020, which helps Anchorage kids succeed. On Monday, Aimee Chauvot, United Way’s grassroots fundraising director, joined Daybreak to explain how the event works. “On […]

  • News

    State Dep’t: 4 Americans dead in Nepal quake, 2 identified

    by CNN / AP on Apr 27, 10:48

      The State Department says at least four Americans have died in Nepal’s earthquake. Spokesman Jeff Rathke says all of the U.S. citizens were killed at the Mt. Everest base camp. He identified two as Thomas Ely Taplin and Vinh B. Truong. The other two haven’t been named yet, either because consular officials haven’t confirmed […]

  • News

    1 million passengers expected on Alaska cruise lines in 2015

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 10:07

    Alaska is preparing for a strong tourist season, with industry forecasts predicting about 1 million passengers on Alaska cruises. KTOO-FM reports (http://bit.ly/1DtcMa4) that former state lawmaker and current president of Cruise Lines International Association Alaska John Binkley expects a 3 percent increase in cruise passengers this year. Binkley also warned that as the cruise industry […]