Junior class facilitates Special Olympics at Moss Field

Speical Olympics will be  April 9 at Moss Field during Activity Day.
Speical Olympics will be April 9 at Moss Field during Activity Day.

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,”-Athlete Oath.

Junior class students will team up with special education buddies during one of the Special Olympic track events on April 9.

“The mission of SSD Special Olympics is to provide sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for students being served by Special School District, in order to give them opportunities in the community that develop physical fitness, courage, and friendships with other athletes and non-disabled peers,” said Jessica Rhodes, coordinator for the event.

“The juniors at WGHS host one of the track and field events. They are buddies to the athletes and support them, cheer them on, eat lunch with them and help them get to their events on time. All of our events are done with a host school throughout STL, so different high schools will host the event and buddy up with the athletes,” Rhodes said.

The track events aren’t the only events that WGHS students have participated in. In a November competition, two volleyball teams placed first and second in their brackets and in January, athletes won various medals in the bowling competition.

“I believe that the students really enjoy this time and enjoy interacting with other peers from other schools,” said Rhodes. “It is a great opportunity for them to work together as a team to accomplish a goal.”

The Olympic event isn’t just beneficial for the special school district students, as members of the senior class reflected on their experiences from the 2012 event.

“A lot of words like ‘retarded’ get thrown around,” said Madison Smith, senior. “I think going to the Special Olympics really helps, and you get to see the other side.”

“My buddy’s name was Joe,” said Daisy Hudspeth, senior. “At first it was difficult, and I was intimidated because I didn’t want to do anything wrong. After a while, we started bonding and I had a great experience. We’ll see each other in the hallways, give each other high fives and visit sometimes.

“It really breaks down social barriers,” said Hudspeth. “People are people. I grew as a person. I really encourage the juniors to attend this event because by [not attending] they’re hurting both their buddy and themselves.”

Leave a Reply