Special Olympics

Special OlympicsSpeech and Debate set up their activities. (Photo by Alicia Purcell)

During a cool spring morning on May 8, members and coaches of the Troy Speech and Debate team headed towards Athens to support those competing within the Special Olympics.

The day began with a parade being led by a Military color guard, marching band color guard, and the Athens marching band. Teams from various schools including Athens, Canton, Towanda, and Troy followed behind. In total, there were 11 teams participating in the Olympics.

Special Olympics
An athlete tries out ladder ball. (Photo by Alicia Purcell)

After the parade, the Athens marching band played the National Anthem and the games began.

The Troy Speech and Debate team had made activities for the athletes while they waited for their events to be called. 

They had brought a handmade tic-tac toe board and ladder ball for their activity. Other activities present included miniature golf, sparkly water bottles, face paint, and a dunk tank. There was also a petting zoo for athletes to enjoy while waiting for their events.

Special Olympics
Kolsen Keathley is pictured in the dunk tank. (Photo by Alicia Purcell)

As the day went on and the sun came out, events continued to be called. Events included the 400-meter walk, relay, 200-meter run, and many more.

Support rained in from all sides for athletes. Many Athens teachers and students came out to show their support from the stands.

Sherri Markiw, director of special education at Troy, was ecstatic with how the athletes were doing.

During lunch break, Markiw recalled leaving for the Special Olympics that morning. They picked up High School athletes first, and then headed to W.R. Croman for the elementary athletes. Upon arriving at Croman, Markiw remembers seeing every teacher and student outside, showing their utmost support.

“Mr. Oldroyd’s kindergarten class was cheering us on as we left. They were the last ones on our way out,” Markiw said. “I get all teary-eyed thinking about it.”

Big Rigs Tackling Autism is another event being held June 23 at the Forksville Fairgrounds. Contact Melissa Chase by calling (570) 924-4829 for more information and come out to show your support.

“I think it’s really important to come out,” said Diane Brenner, one of the Speech and Debate coaches. “We need to be supporting everyone in any way we can.”

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