Students volunteer, cheer on athletes at Special Olympics

Students volunteer, cheer on athletes at Special Olympics

Helen Graham '20, Thomas Glover '18 and Mikey Corrin '18 high five athletes after they race at the Special Olympics. Credit: Alex Goldstein/Chronicle

To culminate community service week, students cheered on Special Olympic student athletes as they participated in events including long jump and the softball throw during the Special Olympics on March 9.

Students and faculty lined up around the track to welcome around 100 student athletes from kindergarten to 12th grade who arrived on campus to compete in the games.

Students signed up to volunteer at the games. They helped the Special Olympics teachers, accompanied athletes to their events and cheered on athletes as they competed.

“My favorite part was seeing all of the athletes smiles, particularly when they were doing the events,” Jess Grody ’19 said. “It seemed like they were having a really great time and I was really happy to get to be a part of it and get to experience their joy with them.”

Students watched the athletes and  Opening Ceremony from the bleachers, when the Chamber Singers sang the National Anthem and the cheerleading team performed a dance. When the Special Olympics began, Head Fanatics led the crowd in a variety of cheers and students encouraged the athletes with handmade posters.

Members of Community Council began planning the event after winter break. They worked closely with Father Young to work out the logistics of the event such as the set-up and the organizing the student volunteers.

“I have worked the Special Olympics since I was eight so it has been a crucial part of my upbringing and my life,” Community Council member Rachel Grode ’19 said. “I love working with the athletes and they are really cute and sweet and generous and really kind and they all have really good hearts so I love working with the kids because they are so appreciative.”

Community Council members said they were happy with the outcome of the games because the student athletes had good time.

“All the kids seemed really happy, the students did a really great job at cheering on the athletes, everyone was really excited and motivated,” Grode said. “In the end I think it was a huge success because every kid left with the biggest smile I have ever seen, high fives all around, hugs, even a kiss on the cheek.”

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