Special Olympics Marks Special Anniversary

Around 300 participants competed Thursday in Area 5 Special Olympics.

Law enforcement and the military carried in the torch to the track at Meridian Community College.

The competition was the 40th anniversary of track and field events in Meridian.

"This is a day when people you might think might not get to have the experience of having an experience with athletics actually get to come out and compete with one another. And they have so much fun," said Area 5 director Steve Owen. "They love to be around their friends. They love to be around, out in the sunshine and especially get to participate in sports. and that's what Special Olympics is all about."

About 150 volunteers from NAS Meridian, civic clubs and high schools assisted.

"We try to give them an activity that they can succeed in in life, you know. Used to, they didn't have anything to do. They couldn't play Little League Baseball, or stuff like that," said games director, Fredna Cross. "And now with Special Olympics they can participate in just about any sport."

Competitors received ribbons for their efforts. Some contestants will go on to the statewide Special Olympics at Keesler Air Force Base in May.

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