A Special Day Of Fun And ‘Games’
Oskaloosa, Iowa – Making dreams come true and smiles from ear-to-ear is just part of the memories participants and volunteers take away from a day of Special Olympics.
You can’t have any Olympics without the lighting of a torch and special speakers during the opening ceremony and Saturday’s Special Olympics was no different. The William Penn PAC once again played host to approximately 250 participants who came from over 10 counties in southeast Iowa and ranged in age from those under 10 to 60+.
The opening ceremony started at 10am with Congressman Dave Loebsack the speaker. He spoke some about the history of the Special Olympics and its start at his Alma mater Iowa State University.
This is the fifth year the games have been hosted in Oskaloosa, and many volunteers from William Penn and the community come out to help. One of those groups is the Mahaska County CERT Team, who was part of the nearly 200 volunteers needed to help make the day possible.
Mahaska County Emergency Manager Jamey Robinson talked about CERT’s participation, “The CERT team absolutely loves being part of the Special Olympics. The privilege to work with such amazing athletes is something that one could only experience to full understand”.
Participants took part in track and field events, like the 100 meter dash, softball throw, and shot put. Our coverage partner CRI talked with Tim Jensen who is from Mount Pleasant, Iowa. For the second year in a row, Jensen made the trip to Oskaloosa, where he eventually took home the gold in the turbo ‘jav’ competition.
“They said I threw it almost 62 meters,” Jensen says. “I like it a lot because I like to compete in sports.”
Another favorite activity is the dance. This opportunity gives participants a chance to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. A lunch is also provided.