Special Olympics wrap up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Olympics wrap up

October 8, 2006

Albany - - Children and adults with intellectual disabilities are able to become useful and productive citizens. That's the purpose of the Special Olympics - a sports competition emphasizing working together. Over 12 hundred athletes proved their athletic ability in Albany this weekend and they were rewarded for it. 

If you've never heard of this small team from Roswell Georgia, they go by the name JP. It's simple. They want you to know, they're just people.  People with disabilities that don't stop them from being their best. During today's final softball competition, JP went for the gold.

"How did it feel out there man? Wheew! We go out there, we work hard, we put our head in the game, that's it," says Tony Saintfield.

It worked. At the end of the state championship, the group was rewarded for stomping out the competition.

"They believe in the mission, play hard, play the right way and never give up. right JP? yeah!!! Never give up," says coach Ken Williams.

Not only is this a fun event, it also teaches the players how to think and how to work as a team.

"Put our heads on the game and we always focus on what we do and like I always say, ain't no I in team," Saintfield says.

Just ask Chris Standridge. He played centerfield and helped the team vye for the victory.

"Were proud of all of us and were number one baby, were number one."

Number one because they put their differences aside and made teamwork the root for each home run.

"They get an opportunity to develop their dreams man with some assistance from us. I don't know who has more fun...us or them. yeah!!!" Williams says.

It really doesn't matter....because once these folks accomplish one goal, they're already focused on the next.

"We wanted to win the championship and were gonna do it again next year," Standridge says.

Because their no different from the rest. They're just people who came out on top.

The State's Special Olympics Competition wrapped up in Albany today. Organizers say the program strengthens the athlete's attitudes, health, and self-esteem.

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