The Special Olympics

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The Special Olympics

Claire Gretlein, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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The Special Olympics was founded in 1968, for over the past 51 years this organization has provided a safe space for special athletes to compete and have fun. Most schools have the students in their special education program participate in this wonderful event because it gives them a chance to get outside of their comfort zone and experience something new and exciting.

     Nipomo High School has a wonderful team of special athletes and buddies that are competing in the Special Olympics this year at Cuesta College. This team of committed athletes are either participating in a basketball game, softball throw, or doing a race. All of these activities help the athletes grow in many aspects of their lives, and they keep these memories with them throughout their lifetimes.

      Students that volunteer to be special buddies love helping out and being a good example and supporter for the athletes. Olivia Labastida is a senior at Nipomo High School and this is her last year participating in the Special Olympics as a buddy. Labastida believes that the Olympics are “a good way to get involved and include the special education students.” Labastida feels that, “The Special Olympics creates real friendships between you and the special athletes that last a lifetime.”

Ruby Malvarose is a freshman at Nipomo High School and this is her first year being a buddy for the Olympics, and Malvarose feels that “just by doing my first practice, I’ve already made a bond with my buddy.” Malvarose looks forward to the next three years of high school so she can continue to participate in this exciting event because she says, “By doing so I know I will meet new and wonderful people and do great things with the people I meet.”

         The athletes that participate in the Olympics love the experience it provides them. The team works tirelessly every Tuesday and Thursday fifth period. They do everything a regular team does and they all enjoy it. One of the special athletes Rebekah Rice loves participating in the softball toss, and she shows her excitement through clapping and her delightfully cheerful shouting. Another athlete, Nico Ortiz, finds delight in playing basketball with his teammates, and when he makes a basket he celebrates, hands up in the air cheering with all his peers. All of the athletes experience the Special Olympics in their own unique way, and each of them come together as an integral part of their team.

        This year the Special Olympics takes place on May 3rd at Cuesta College, if you see any of our athletes before then be sure to wish them luck. Being a part of the special Olympics as an athlete, buddy, or a volunteer is an experience many people cherish their whole life. The lessons learned, hard work, and the friendships that are formed through the process in preparation for this day really teaches everyone something new about themselves, and gives our athletes a reason to cheer.