Gastonia, N.C. – The Gaston County Special Olympics spring games were held Friday, April 20 at Grier Middle School. More than 250 athletes competed in track and field events, including the 100-yard dash, 50-yard dash, 25-yard dash, 25-yard walk and a tennis ball throw.
The opening ceremonies included the Parade of Athletes, the national anthem and the ceremonial torch run.
“It was an honor to sing the national anthem at such a wonderful event,” said Ashbrook senior and student volunteer Blake Payne. Students from nine schools served as volunteers for the spring games.
Brian Mason has watched his son compete in the spring games for eight years.
“The Special Olympics games give my son the opportunity to show off his skills,” said Mason, whose son will graduate from Webb Street School in May. “I am so thankful to the community and to the many volunteers who make these games special for my son and the other athletes.”
Linda Mennear, area coordinator for Gaston County Special Olympics, expressed appreciation to Tindol Subaru for sponsoring the spring games and to the 220 volunteers.
“It is a true blessing,” said Mennear. “We are delighted with the support we receive year after year from the community.”
Children six and seven years of age who did not compete in the Special Olympics competitions participated in the play activities program. The program provided activities for children to strengthen development in preparation for sports opportunities and emphasized games and activities rather than competition.
To view a slideshow of pictures from the Special Olympics spring games, click here.