School welcomes Cuban and Czech Special Olympics athletes

Jesse Nadel

Members of the school community welcomed 150 Special Olympic athletes and coaches from Cuba and the Czech Republic at the host town community barbecue on the school’s campus July 23.

“Harvard-Westlake is thrilled to host athletes from Cuba and the Czech Republic on our Studio City campus,” President Rick Commons said in a press release. “It is an honor for us to make our facilities available to the Special Olympics, the athletes, and the Studio City community.”

In addition to the school community, Studio City residents were also in attendance to celebrate the athletes.

Following a march of the delegations, the athletes, coaches and community attendees participated in various activities including a dinner and welcoming ceremony.

Several students also volunteered at the event, and met the athletes from around the world.

“It was great seeing and interacting with the athletes even though most of them didn’t speak English. They all seemed so excited to be there and it made the language barrier irrelevant,” student volunteer Lola Clark ’17 said.

In addition to the barbecue, the athletes trained on the school’s campus for several days, Director of Community and Public Affairs Stacy Marble said. Using the facilities, they were able to prepare for their various events for the Special Olympics World Games that will begin on July 25.