Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Excitement filled Tommy Smith Stadium at Georgetown High School Friday, as the annual South Carolina Area 9 Special Olympics games were held in nearly perfect weather conditions.
Hundreds of participants from Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties took part in the various competitions.
Running the torch to kick off the games was Mykel Adams of Waccamaw Middle School.
One parent, Sandy Jersek – whose son Skyler participated in the wheelchair race and softball throw – said the games are very important.
“It brings these with special needs out and it’s good for families to come watch them be a part of something they are not usually a part of,” she said, adding her son usually “stays in his own little world” but practicing for and participating in the Special Olympics each year brings him out to be with his peers.
School District Superintendent Dr. Randy Dozier, whose daughter, Catherine, participates each year, said the games give the players a chance to socialize and meet old friends and teachers and make new friends.
“The emotional and social benefits are many, including building positive self esteem and self confidence,” Dozier said.
He said his daughter has “fond memories and lots of medals that still hang in her bedroom” from her many years as a participant.
“Winning is not so much an issue with her as the thrill just to participate and be there with friends,” Dozier said.