Athletes compete in Special Olympics

Published 11:00 am Friday, May 12, 2017

SOUTH POINT — Athletes competed on Thursday in the 43rd Lawrence County Special Olympics.

The event took place at South Point High School for the second year in a row, and the school’s students assisted for matches in the 50, 100 and 400-meter dash, softball and the long jump.

Cars packed the school’s lot as spectators attended to cheer on those competing for medals. Among them were Mark Christian, the superintendent of South Point schools, and Jeff Saunders, the county’s superintendent.

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Ben Coleman, the school’s principal, said the event was going well.

“The weather has held up, the kids are having a good time and it looks like the competition’s tough this year,” he said.

Sponsors for this year’s event included Coleman, South Point schools, Ink Slingers, Dr. Andrew Gilliland of Marshal Orthopedics, Short Stitch, South Point Walmart, Pick ‘n Save, MH Equipment, Mr. Mays’ digital arts class from Coal Grove High School, Snak Shak, Heiner’s bakery, Slack and Wallace Funeral Home, Giovanni’s Pizza, Jeff Floyd, Doug Waller, Sam’s Club, Pepsi, King’s Daughters Medical Center, Coal Grove Food Fair and Texas Roadhouse.

Coleman said that he hopes the school can become a permanent home for the annual games, which have rotated venues from year to year, due to its central location in the county and its track facilities. “We’ve got a good committee and we’re hoping they let us do that,” he said.

The Special Olympics first took place in 1968, following the work of Eunice Kennedy, the sister of President John F. Kennedy, who started Camp Shriver to help children with intellectual disabilities.

It is the largest sports organization for children and adults with disabilities and provides training to more than 5.3 million athletes.