Athletes gear up for 2007 Special Olympics - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Athletes gear up for 2007 Special Olympics

October 11, 2007

Albany--In just one more day, thousands of people from all over the state will visit Albany for the 2007 Special Olympics.

The event is expected to attract about 1,200 athletes from all over Georgia.  Opening ceremony will kick off Friday evening at the Albany Civic Center.  Athletes living with intellectual disabilities will have an opportunity to take part in 23 Olympic-type sports this weekend.

As the Special Olympics swings into gear, one eager athlete is ready to take home the gold.

"It's just fun. Having fun with other different teams, and getting to meet different people," says Christopher Williams.  Williams has trained for the event for weeks. He plans to knock out a few home runs in the baseball competition.

"It's kind of hard to do all that hard work. We had to run around and exercise, stretch, and all that good stuff," says Williams.

Williams doesn't like to brag, but already has several medals he won from the sport last year.

"Came in second," he says.

"Our athletes work really hard. They have to go through at least eight weeks of consecutive training prior to this event," says Karen Beasley who is the special olympics coordinator for the Dougherty County School District. She says the Special Olympics give athletes an opportunity to excel.

"Every body wants to feel like they're supported and cheered. Our athletes deserve no less," she says.

About 450 local athletes will take part in the games this weekend. Beasley is hoping the community will come out and show their support.

"We want those stands to be filled," she says.

Williams is just hoping to have a good time.  "It's fun. We get to trip out and have fun and get to do all different stuff," says Williams.

While taking out his competition.  "We'll probably beat whoever we play against," says Williams.