Special Olympics Athletes Showcase Skills in Spring Games at Pinecrest
More than 120 Special Olympics athletes from all corners of the county paraded onto John Williams Field at Pinecrest High School Friday to the cheers of family, friends and volunteers. The procession of athletes signaled the opening of the 2007 Special Olympics Moore County Spring Games.
Pinecrest High School principal Joel County welcomed the parade of athletes under blue skies and perfect weather.
Led by the Pinecrest Air Force ROTC color guard, the athletes were ready to participate and compete in a day of races and relays, standing and running long jump, softball throw, shot put and motor activities.
Special Olympics athlete Angel Woodson was excited as she led the participants in the athletes' oath, "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Damian Dowdy, a volunteer coach, administered the officials' oath.
Members of the North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run delivered the Special Olympics Torch into the stadium where it was passed to Matthew Bass, a Pinecrest Special Olympics athlete, for the final leg to light the Special Olympics flame, signaling the official opening of the games.
Special Olympics provides training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities who are at least 8 years old. Athletes are grouped for competition by age and ability, earning medals for first, second and third places.
Volunteers are a key component of Special Olympics, with over 750,000 volunteers enabling training and competition for 2.25 million athletes in more than 160 nations. That spirit was evident in the Moore County Games, with close to 150 volunteers participating.
Pinecrest, Union Pines and North Moore high school students showed up in force to participate as buddies, timers, scorekeepers and venue assistants, working alongside familiar faces who contribute so generously every year.
Special Olympics athletes who participated in the local games are eligible to compete in the Special Olympics North Carolina regional qualifier, slated for April 14 at Pinecrest High School. Selections for state level competition will be drawn from the regional contestants.
More like this story