The Special Olympics

A 2008 Special Olympics torch bearer

On the morning of Tuesday, April 21, more than 450 athletes will gather to compete in the Buncombe County Special Olympics Spring Games. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:20 a.m. with a parade of athletes. These competitors and their student helpers are from all over the county and represent county and city schools and group homes.

T.C. Roberson High School is host to this free, annual event, which features softball throw, relay races, 50 and 100 meter runs, standing long jump and running long jump. For wheelchair-bound athletes there are races and developmental events.

This is a huge event that many Buncombe County residents do not realize takes place in their own backyard. The Special Olympics committee encourages everyone to come by and cheer on the athletes. Arrive early and stay for lunch. Concessions are open all day and events last into the early afternoon.

The excitement of the Games is the culmination of hard work on the parts of the competitors, their coaches and parents. Preparing for the Games promotes physical fitness and conditioning, while providing opportunities for everyone involved to make new friends and learn life skills.

Athlete Rob Powell of Alverta Bolick Group Home says, “Special Olympics is fun. I meet a lot of people and get to spend time with my friends.”

Come meet new friends at the Special Olympics Spring Games (rain date: April 22). Info: 684-5072 or teri.gentile@buncombecounty.org.

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