Olympics visit Selma

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 18, 2004

With a startling &uot;bang&uot; from the starter’s gun, the runners were off.

Huffing and puffing their way down the track at Memorial Stadium, the Olympians ignored the cheering crowds in the stands and on the field, placing all their focus on reaching the finish line.

When each athlete finally made it to the end, no matter what place they took, there was celebration. After all, this was their moment of glory-something they had been training for all year.

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There were 125 athletes competing in the Cahaba Center’s 25th annual Special Olympics on Wednesday.

Participants showed off their skills in events such as the 50-meter dash, 400-meter run, softball throw

and distance kick.

The Special Olympics was less about competition and more of a day of fun for everyone involved, including the volunteers and young children from area day-cares that came to watch the games.

The games were kicked off by a few words from Mayor James Perkins, Jr. and Dallas Jones.

Sanders said he was pleased with the large number of volunteers and participants, as well as the afternoon of sunny weather.

Ribbons were presented to first- through seventh-place winners, but there really were no losers. Everyone who participated showed a lot of heart, talent, and devotion to the sport. No one gives up in the Special Olympics.

Among the many volunteers, a special treat this year was the appearance of the Keith High School Band.

Organizers said the high school students enlivened up the event when they led the parade and played throughout the games.

executive director of the Cahaba Center. &uot;The Keith High School band was the icing on the cake.&uot;

Next weekend, Cahaba Center will take 50 participants to the regional competition in Mobile next weekend.