Special Olympics come to Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Olympics come to Albany

October 6, 2005

Albany- In less than 24 hours, the torch will be lit signifying the start of the state fall Special Olympics in Albany. South Georgia has never hosted the state games.That will change Friday when competition begins at noon. More than 800 south Georgia volunteers will be on hand as the games begin in Albany.

The welcome mat has been rolled out for more than 15,000 Special Olympic athletes and coaches. The Opening ceremony for the state fall games will be Friday night in the Albany Civic Center.

"We're going to have a parade of athletes and we'll have a really nice torch lighting ceremony involving law enforcement officers who help raise money for special Olympics," said Kristin Caso, Organizer.

Organizers encourage all of south Georgia to come out and see the events.

"Free parking and free admission, you don't even have to have a ticket so I mean everyone has to come out and bring their families with them," said Caso.

Final preparations were tended to Thursday night, all the venues have been prepped.

"Bocce courts went in this morning at the exchange club fairgrounds and competition actually starts tFriday at noon," said Caso.

The competition begins with Bocce from noon to five and softball team play at Gordon sports complex.

"We have athletes from ever corner of the state of Georgia coming in here. It's great for our hotels and for retail here everyone's going to benefit," said Caso.

While the city will benefit with full hotel rooms and retail sales organizers say the joy shown by the athletes competing may be the best reward of all.

I honestly think this is the best feel good event of the year for Albany. Once you've been involved with special Olympics it will touch your heart like nothing else and Albany won't be the same," said Caso.

Friday's opening ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Albany Civic Center. The fall games Grand Marshal will be Albany native and former University of Georgia and Miami Dolphins football player Bill Stanfill. For an entire list of events, times, you can click on specialolypmicsga.org.

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