Special Olympics champions athletes of all abilities

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Athletes could also test their ability to jump in the long jump event.

PCHS students provided their help by running the events and escorting athletes to each event. The students did this as part of Project Unify, an effort launched by Special Olympics to foster respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Bringing community members together in educational and athletic events, such as the Special Olympics spring games, further encourages this message.

Ollis said she hopes this year’s Special Olympics event would serve as a launching point for more volunteers to offer their time.

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“We want to have Special Olympics sports available to our athletes throughout the year,” Ollis said. “All it takes is someone coming forward and saying they are open to helping lead a sport – it could be cheerleading, basketball, bocce bawl.”

According to the Special Olympics of North Carolina website, athletes age 8 and above can compete in one of the 19 Olympic-style sports available in the state. Athletes typically train for eight weeks with one to two practices per week. Those sports include basketball and cheerleading, bocce ball, bowling, equestrian, golf, cycling, gymnastics, powerlifting, roller skating, soccer, tennis, volleyball, aquatics and more.

For more information on how to get involved as an athlete, coach or volunteer, visit www.sonc.net.