WILLIAMS - Athletes from Williams recently competed in the Arizona State Summer Special Olympics bringing home a sense of pride along with medals to commemorate their achievements.
This year, Williams Special Olympics, was able to participate in a different venue for their Summer Games competition, held April 29 to May 1.
The nine athletes and their coaches, Deniz Brock and Patti Jackson, traveled to Page. Over the course of three days, the athletes competed in traditional summer Olympics style field events.
"Although it was a shorter event, they got to experience something new," Brock said. "We arrived in Page on Thursday with plenty of time to be tourists for a day."
According to Brock, the group had time to go sightseeing and decided to do an Antelope Canyon Jeep Tour.
"None of the athletes had ever been there and had a great time seeing all the beautiful colors in the rocks," she said.
On Friday, the day of the competition, the athletes experienced the advantage of having a "buddy" to help them get to their events on time and to help them at Olympic Village or to get a snow cone, Brock said.
The team achieved all-around commendable results.
Karime Galaviz received a bronze medal in the softball throw and a gold medal in the 100-meter wheelchair race, Mark Konkel received gold medals in the softball throw, running long jump, and the 100-meter dash. Bohannon Irving received silver medals in the softball throw and the 50-meter dash.
Santia Rodriguez received gold medals in the 100-meter dash and in the running long jump. Alicia Wilson received a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash and a gold medal in the running long jump. Thomas Markham received a gold medal in the standing long jump and a silver medal in the 100-meter dash.
Jacob Alexander received a fourth place ribbon in the 100-meter dash and a silver medal in the running long jump.
"Congratulations ladies and gentlemen," Brock said. "The athletes did a fantastic job."
Practice for the summer games begins in March. The team participates in the state regional competition held in Prescott in April.
The Special Olympics motto is "Let me win. But if I can not win, let me be brave in the attempt."
According to Special Olympics Arizona's website, the goal of Special Olympics is to provide every person with intellectual disabilities a place of welcome and acceptance and the chance to be their best. Special Olympics Arizona hopes to empower the over 180,000 Arizonans with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, productive, and respected members of society through their year-round sports training, competitions, and support programs.
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