More than 300 Special Olympians Compete in Moultrie

Moultrie Special Olympics
Posted at 5:42 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 17:42:00-05

MOULTRIE, GA (WTXL) -- More than 300 athletes in South Georgia competed in a regional Special Olympics Friday in Colquitt County.

For the 35th year, Moultrie has hosted a regional Winter Games for the Special Olympics -- a chance to take the court, to be the ones to watch.

"It's giving them an opportunity, because most of our athletes are not able to participate outside of Special Olympics," said Lindsey Whitehead, one of the local Special Olympics coordinators.

While the Special Olympics brings together children and adults with physical and/or mental disabilities, students in regular education have teamed up with them to make them feel more comfortable.

"It's pretty fun," said participant Isaiah Palmore. "You got a lot of stuff that they do, and you have a good chance of winning."

"I wanted to watch the special kids enjoy their day and just have fun and watch the games and just be able to see all of us play," said participant Allison Taylor.

"The reason why it's fun? Because I like to, well, barge into people," said participant Ricky Ramirez.

Coordinators said the Games are a great way for people with special needs to channel their abilities.

"It gives them a structure to go by," said Whitehead, "to where they're able to play the sport and get the skills down."

No gold medals at the Games and no national anthem -- but those involved in the annual event said it's much more than just a competition.

"I do it, because I absolutely love it," said coordinator P.J. Jones. "I feel like God's put me here for a reason, and so I give it my 100 percent each and every day."

"My biggest thing is just seeing the athletes get so excited and so involved, because this is something that they look forward to every single year," Whitehead said.

Athletes competed in floor hockey, basketball, skating and scooter board. Moultrie also hosts a summer version of the Games.