Photo Gallery: Athletes shine at Special Olympics celebration
STORY & PHOTOS BY DEBBIE PAGE
The smiles at Wednesday’s Special Olympics were almost as bright as the blue skies and sunshine that graced the joyful occasion. Cheers, fist pumps, somersaults, and dancing were the order of the day as the athletes from schools all over the county marched onto the track at Statesville High School in front of a crowd of fans and supporters.
Lynn Kunkle of Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County gave the invocation, expressing thankfulness for the beautiful day, the volunteers, and the athletes’ “commitment, desire, and heart.” She asked that be protected as they encouraged and supported one another through the competition. She asked that the day be full of joy, laughter, and good memories.
The SHS JROTC presented the colors as student Zaria Hancock sang the National Anthem, followed by a welcome from Miss Statesville Alyssa Johnson, who advocates for children with disabilities.
“Today is not about disability. It’s about these individuals’ abilities,” said Johnson. “I’m so excited to see everybody do amazing, amazing things.”
The Mitchell College Basic Law Enforcement Training students, under the direction of Tina Fleming, ran the track bearing the torch, which Fleming then used to light the Special Olympic flame to begin the games.
Athletes enjoyed a variety of different races as well as ball tosses, long jump, javelin throws, obstacle courses, art and crafts, and other activities throughout the morning.