Special Olympics gives disabled youth chance to compete, shine
Published 5:06 pm Friday, May 8, 2015
Thursday morning as the sun rose over the Bainbridge High School Track, lines of students waited by the parking lot.
In the distance, sirens could be heard. A string of police cars with brightly flashing lights pulled onto the school grounds. They were escorting four school buses. The students who had been waiting erupted into cheers as the riders stepped off the vehicles and marched toward the track.
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More than 100 disabled youth and an equally large amount of volunteers from Decatur, Grady, Seminole and Early counties had arrived to spend the morning competing in the 2015 Decatur County Special Olympics. Their grins spread from ear to ear as they walked toward the track for a parade and a morning of friendly competition and exercise.
“It was a milestone for us because it was a four-county event,” Decatur County Special Olympics Chairman Jim Beck said, noting this was the biggest event held in his six years at that position.
The torch run, led by Post-Searchlight Publisher Jeff Findley, officially kicked off the ceremony. Before the events were underway, Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin and the employees of the DCSO gifted the Decatur County Special Olympics a $1,000 check donation.
“It was a total surprise,” Beck said. “The DCSO has been so supportive of us. They are very silent, but they help us out quite a bit.”
Kids were split into groups, each led by a team of BHS students, and moved from station to station. Games included Frisbee throwing, the 100-meter dash, long jumping and soccer ball kicking.
Every participant that competed was recognized with a ribbon and honored in front of all in attendance. After a lunch break and a final round of events and awards, the Special Olympics came to a close.
“The final thing was it was a well organized, well put together event,” Beck said. “The leadership committee has done an excellent job of doing this thing.