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Special Olympics holds spring games at Walkertown High

A group of adult males compete in the 50 yard dash during the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics holds spring games at Walkertown High
May 04
03:25 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY 

THE CHRONICLE

More than 900 athletes ages 3 and up from all around Forsyth County gathered at Walkertown High School’s football stadium last week for the Special Olympics Forsyth County Spring Games.

The games were scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 25 but the opening ceremonies that were to be held on Tuesday were canceled because of rain. Wednesday and Thursday were clear and beautiful days for the athletes to compete in track and field events, such as relay races; softball throw; 50 and 100 meter dash; and walk and wheelchair races. The games ended Thursday, April 27.

“I am overly excited especially considering the weather from Tuesday,” said Latoya Price, Special Olympics Forsyth County local coordinator.

“To be able to come out here yesterday and today to host this huge event and see the smiles on the athletes’ faces was amazing.  I couldn’t be more excited than I am today.”

Running in combination with the spring games was the HealthFest, which was a free service provided for current and potential Special Olympic athletes ages 2 and up.  The HealthFest offered free screenings for height, weight, blood pressure and body mass index.

“We wanted to make sure our athletes were healthy and taken care of while here,” Price said. “The students from ECPI were here assisting the participants with their mini screenings.  This is a great way for the ECPI students to get a chance to work with individuals with disabilities.”

The athletes were separated based on their age, sex and individual disability.  Each athlete received something for their participation in the games.  All of the competitors seemed to thoroughly enjoy the excitement of competing in the games.

“I’ve gotten a lot of great responses, and the athletes have been very excited because this is something they have been looking forward to for some time,” Price went on to say.  “We do this once a year, so before we even get started, athletes are asking when the Spring Games are taking place.”

There were over 600 volunteers that signed up to help run the games including staff, faculty and students at Walkertown High School among other schools in the county. West Forsyth’s star football player K.J. Henry was one of the volunteers Thursday and says he loves helping out whenever he can.  He says these athletes inspire him with their determination and drive.

“I just love giving back and this was a good opportunity to do so,” said Henry.  “It makes all of us very happy to put a smile on their faces.  They deserve to have just as much fun as we do on any given day.  Just to give back and be able to do this for them is a great feeling.”

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Timothy Ramsey

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