Locals prepare for state's Fall Games - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Locals prepare for state's Fall Games

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October 5, 2006

Albany -- The Olympics are coming to Albany. This weekend 1,200 Special Olympians will compete in the tenth annual State Fall Games. Both organizers and athletes are doing last minute preparations.

As Phillip Ford shoots his basketball toward the goal, he says it takes practice, hard work, and dedication to achieve this. "Basketball, bowling, and another bowling trophy for first place for Special Olympics," said Ford.

He shows off several medals hanging around his neck from games past. He and wife Shannon say practicing basketball keeps their aim sharp, and they have a strategy that will give them a win in the Special Olympics Bocce competition.

"Just taking my time, ease the ball up to the pallina, and all of that," said Ford.

The pallina in the game of bocce is the small white ball that competitors try to toss the larger balls the closest to.

Athletes aren't the only ones busy preparing for the games. Special Olympics event coordinator Kristen Caso says they've been swamped all week getting set to give the games a go. "It has been the week of craziness," said Kristin Caso.

Staffers and volunteers have been busy getting game equipment ready, and say it's not to late for the community to help out. "We need Albanians, and Southwest Georgians to come out in droves and become fans in the stands. You can bring posters and banners, and pom poms and noisemakers," said Caso.

Phillip Ford takes some times to show off a number of trophies, and says he'll have many more after this weekend. Like a true competitor, Ford says he's ready to challenge athletes from statewide.

"I'm deadly, I am deadly,"  Phillip Ford said. With lots of last minute practice, the Ford's say they won't be missing out on adding to their wins.

The Olympics opening ceremony is 7:30 Friday night at the Civic Center. All events are free, but the organization still needs donations from the community.


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