Special Olympics competition here May 6

Published 8:34 pm Friday, March 26, 2010

Decatur County Special Olympics will have a Special Olympics competition May 6 at the new Bainbridge High School track for special Olympians in the Decatur County School System.

That was the message Bainbridge First Baptist Church pastor the Rev. Paul Medley brought to the Bainbridge Lions Club on Wednesday.

Medley, Decatur County Special Olympics Leadership Team chairman, opened his comments to the Lions by giving a brief history of Special Olympics, which is for people with intellectual disabilities.

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In 1963, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy, was having a birthday party for her sister, who had an intellectual disability, Medley said.

“She saw how much joy the children with intellectual disabilities were having at the party and the excitement that was in their eyes as they enjoyed games that other children enjoyed,” Medley said.

“In 1968, she founded Special Olympics Inc., and her son, Timothy Shriver, is chairman and CEO of the organization today.”

Medley said Decatur County has not had a Special Olympics for years.

“I don’t know why, but that is not important. We just want to start it back,” Medley said.

Medley said the Thursday, May 6, Special Olympics competition will begin with the parade of the athletes and continue with their reciting of the Special Olympics pledge, a torch run by law enforcement and the competition.

Medley asked the Lions Club to recite the Special Olympics Pledge, and they did so with enthusiasm.

“Let me win,” they said, “but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Decatur County Special Olympics is affiliated with Georgia Special Olympics, National Special Olympics and International Special Olympics.