Opening ceremonies for Special Olympians - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Opening ceremonies for Special Olympians

October 7, 2005

Albany-- Friday night, more than a thousand special athletes filled the civic center for a ceremony in their honor. There was music, dancing, and a lot of excitement leading up to one bright moment.

During the singing of the national anthem, the bright stars of this year's Special Olympics could be seen. "It's so exciting. We have been looking so forward to coming to Albany," says Special Olympics Executive Director Georgia Milton-Sheats.

1,200 star athletes from across Georgia kicked off the Fall Games with a ceremony full of expectations. "They can expect fun. They can expect inspiration," says Milton-Sheats. "It's been an inspiration already," says Tony Ford. Even more inspiring is the motivation of the athletes.

"It feels very great. I'm very excited to be here," says athlete Kimberly Jones. Jones has a big task. She's one of four athletes carrying the torch. She's slightly nervous. "A little bit. I'll get over it though," says Jones. For Tyron Wright, lighting the caldron is a task he's been ready for. I asked him if he was nervous. "Uh uh. No," says Wright.

The ceremony leads up to one big emotional moment, the lighting of the caldron. "Anyone that has had any kind of moment with this activity is going to feel real good about themselves," says Ford.

They're feeling really good with the start of a special fire. "Happy, yeah," says Wright. It's the signal of the start of some special games here in South Georgia.

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