190 Athletes compete in Special Olympics
White Hall Journal - 4/13/2017
The Special Olympics was held Saturday at the WHHS stadium in White Hall. This year 190 athletes were registered to compete in events such as 25 meter walk, 30 meter manual wheelchair, 50 meter dash, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 4 by 100 relay, running long jump, standing long jump, softball throw, tennis ball throw and shotput.
Athletes from White Hall, Sheridan, Star City, Jenkins Memorial Center, Dollarway, Watson Chapel and the Pine Bluff School District were expected to compete.
According to Travis Chism, Area 9 Director for Special Olympics, "This started in 1967 and has been held every year with only two rain outs."
Chism has been the area director since 2005. The look on his face when the Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club presented him with a check for $4,400 from their recent bike show fundraiser said it all.
The list of winners was not fully available at presstime, but with Special Olympics, all the athletes are winners. Smiles and hugs were readily available for everyone.
The Volunteer of the Year was named at the event. Glen Hastings, a long time supporter of Special Olympics wa honored with a plaque.
Special thanks to the White Hall ROTC Color Guard for the presentation of colors and for leading the parade of athletes. The highlight for many of the athletes was when the Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club, along with several other clubs rode in on their bikes and circled the stadium where the athletes could see the bikes and high five the riders as they walked in the parade.
Richard Davies, a long time supporter of Special Olympics wrote this poem in 2003, after working with the kids competing in the 2003 Special Olympics and said, "I have worked with the Special Olympics for years. I was watching children as they competed or sat close enough to the track to watch as others competed. I suppose I watched more closely than I ever have before...because I saw things differently this time. I urge you to do the same.
I Am You
By Richard Davies
Not clay or stone...but flesh and bone
A life...does course my veins
A heart that beats...within me deep
Feeling joy...as well as pain
A brain that seeks, two lips that speak
A soul that longs for more
A chance to be...no more than me
For within my mind I soar
I see the trees...I feel the breeze
As you...I hear the sounds
My mind is clear and deep with thought
Though my body bend and bound
Look upon me not...as a life less real
For I am you within my heart...
My life, like yours, is real.