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The Special Olympics returns to Corpus Christi

Posted at 5:07 PM, Apr 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-09 18:07:47-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Saturday the Texas Special Olympics’ track and field event came back to Corpus Christi after being on a hiatus for 2 years due to the pandemic.

“I would never give up. I’m a great runner,” Ciera Norman, a 9th grader at Gregory Portland High school, said.

She’s on the track and field team at Gregory Portland High School and said she had been training for the Special Olympics track and field event for weeks.

“She always pushed herself so I knew she would be good in Olympics and I’m proud of her,” Donna Taubert said about her granddaughter Ciera.

With the bang of a starter pistol, athletes from several schools in the Coastal Bend competed in the 25, 50, and 100 meter runs, walks and wheelchair races.

Zoe Fletcher is an 11th grader at Flour Bluff High School and competed in the 100 meter run and shot-put and said it just takes a little bit of determination to win a race.

“My favorite part was winning the 100 meter run which I didn’t think I would win because I’m not good at it, but I guess I won,” Fletcher said.

Other events that were hosted were the mini javelin throw and long jump. Some athletes like Fletcher are on their school’s team and got a little competitive.

“My favorite part of being on the team is to compete with my friends to see who wins and compare the times together,” Fletcher said.

Volunteers from Del Mar College and the School of Science and Technology High School helped out with the events and guided students.

Justine Villarreal is a senior at the School of Science and Technology High School and said she needs 100 hours of volunteer work but said she’s already completed them before Saturday. She said she volunteered at the Special Olympics to connect with her community.

“We think that it’s a good opportunity to learn more about other people and the community around us, and you know, just have a good time,” Villarreal said.

Students were awarded first through sixth places and received medals.

Coaches like Michael Davila, the athletic director from Kingsville ISD, said coaching the Special Olympics and coaching regular sports isn’t all that different, except there’s a lot of heart at the Special Olympics.

“We want them to feel that we’re part of the inclusion revolution so we want to make sure that when our athletes step on a regular track meet or a special Olympics track meet, that it’s exactly the same. We give them a great experience and we cheer them on from the time we get there to the time we end,” Davila said.

A representative from Special Olympics Texas said they also have teams for basketball, tennis, volleyball, flag football, and bowling. She said they’re always looking for volunteers to coach adult teams.