An estimated 350 young athletes participated in ...
As each Lely participants completed their event there were unmistakable smiles of joy.
No matter where they finished, they all were winners in the Collier County Special Olympics.
There wasn’t a combined point system so there was no overall team winner. The kids were put into groups, based on age, disability and other factors.
We ended up taking home eight first-place ribbons in the long jump, shot put, softball throw, 4X400 relay, 400-meter walk, 800-meter walk and two first-place ribbons in the 100-meter dash. Everyone received participant ribbons.
These kids were ridiculously excited to compete. To them it was like the Super Bowl. They trained very hard in order to win those blue ribbons.
We started training about four weeks prior to the competition during our adaptive PE class, working on everything from hand-offs for the relay, to our footwork when throwing the shot put. The kids were extremely focused and really wanted to do well at the Olympics.
Blue ribbon winners included Diega Mora in the softball throw, Sarah Reveland and Branisha Riley in the 100-meter run and double winners, Raheem Isaac, placing first in the long jump and shot put, Diana Jacques in the in the 800-meter walk and long jump for won 16 to 21 years old and the 4X400 relay, consisting of Walter Lasek, Isaac, Jacques and Riley.
We were all extremely happy with the results, even if we hadn’t won all those blue ribbons, because it is really about the overall experience for these kids.
To have that opportunity to compete on a level playing field was great.