Published On: Fri, May 9th, 2014
Sports | By

Qualla Boundary participates in Special Olympics Spring Games

Destyni Johnson, a member of the Qualla Boundary team, competes in the softball throw at Friday’s Special Olympics Far West Spring Games at Macon Middle School.  (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

Destyni Johnson, a member of the Qualla Boundary team, competes in the softball throw at Friday’s Special Olympics Far West Spring Games at Macon Middle School. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

 

FRANKLIN – The cloudy skies didn’t dampen one smile or spirit at the annual Special Olympics of North Carolina Far West Spring Games.  Over 250 athletes participated in the event held Friday, May 9 at Macon Middle School.

“I enjoy the Special Olympics,” said Tony Wolfe, a member of the Qualla Boundary team which consisted of nearly 30 athletes.  It’s gives people with special disabilities a chance to prove what they can do and who they are.  I just enjoy being a part of it.”

Lana Lambert, Qualla Boundary Special Olympics program coordinator, related, “We’re excited to have a team of our regular athletes plus a lot of new athletes here competing today, and they’re making the entire Qualla Boundary very proud.”

Mia Lambert, a member of the Qualla Boundary team, throws her hands in the air to celebrate winning the gold medal in the tennis ball throw.

Mia Lambert, a member of the Qualla Boundary team, throws her hands in the air to celebrate winning the gold medal in the tennis ball throw.

The athletes competed in various track and field events ranging from the softball throw and tennis ball throw to traditional events such as the long jump, shot put and running events.

Officers from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office ran the torch into the stadium to help start Friday’s event.  They were followed by the procession of athletes representing area counties including: Cherokee, Clay, Macon, Graham, and the Qualla Boundary.

Derek Roland, Macon County manager, welcomed the athletes and coaches to the event, “Today’s the product of a lot of hard work by a lot of agencies, but, at the end of the day, it’s all about the athletes here.”

Boy Scout Troop 235 and the Knights of Columbus posted the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance which was followed by the National Anthem sung by Macon County’s Singing Angels.

LeAnne Webb, a member of the Macon County team and a Special Olympics global messenger, led the athletes in the Special Olympics Oath to start the games, “Let me win.  But, if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

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