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Lizards Host Another Successful Special Olympics Track Meet

Mark Mochon narrowly escapes being run over after starting the girls 50m dash. Photo by Janelle Henderson.

By Steve Sexton and Janelle Henderson

Three hundred, forty-two athletes ages six-years to adulthood gathered in the bleachers under cloudy skies and cool temperatures on June 7th at Mt. Hood Community College track for the 2014 Special Olympics of Oregon Regional meet. The energy and anticipation was thick in the air. After patiently giving respectful tributes during the opening ceremonies and singing of “The Star Spangled-Banner,” the athletes heard the call over the loud speaker: “Let the games begin!” Everyone was heard projecting ear piercing cheers and prideful clapping throughout the stadium upon this announcement.

Team Red Lizard of Portland, Oregon and other community volunteers were prepared and well instructed by each volunteer lead for the arrival of the athletes. These leaders have years of experience and the competence of how to facilitate the process of the athletes. This level of competence was obvious as they worked throughout the day with seamless efforts and transitions. Even with the rising temperatures, they were unwavering and professional.

Over the years it’s been TRL volunteers who refined the processes and systems for this regional meet to run smoothly. These volunteers know exactly what to do in order for the athletes to give their very best while competing in the meet.

The volunteers accomplished many needed duties including instructing, recording and preparing sites for the athletes. They also encouraged and cheered. All athletes truly had fun giving their best whether in the softball throw, shot put, long jump or the running events. One can only admire and support whole-heartedly the athletes wanting to reach for their best while witnessing the profound exertion of effort.

As volunteers to this event, we are there to provide an opportunity for the athletes to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy. Intellectual and physical disabilities fade away and become invisible. What shines through are the real definitions of sportsmanship and bravery. Participation in the sharing of skills and friendship amongst teammates and community is also of vital importance. I believe this was fulfilled successfully!!!

Thank you, volunteers!! Your tireless efforts during this year’s meet made it a victorious day for all!!

Please take a look at the photos captured during this meet. Nowhere will you find disabilities – only abilities and the desire to achieve greatness. The expressions of these athletes and the volunteers tell the story.

Discussion

2 Responses to “Lizards Host Another Successful Special Olympics Track Meet”

  1. I want everyone to know how sorry I am for missing shotput. My heart sank when I realized it had ended and I hadn’t made it over to photograph the event.

    Posted by Janelle Henderson | June 12, 2014, 9:42 pm

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