Matt Vaghi is a student at Springfield College and resident of Woodbury, CT. Matt shared his thoughts on the recent 2012 Special Olympics Connecticut Northwest Regional Games held this past Saturday at Danbury High School.
In Matt's words:
2012 Special Olympics Northwest Regional Games a Success
On Saturday, May 12th, a bright flame fluttered in the wind from a large Olympic torch positioned in the center of the Danbury High School track as hundreds of athletes began trickling down onto the track and surrounding fields. Although school was not in session, there were 351 athletes, 195 coaches and assistant coaches, and over 150 volunteers generously devoting their time to the 2012 Special Olympics Connecticut Northwest Regional Track and Field games. Athletes and volunteers from the Northwest part of Connecticut, including Waterbury, Oxford, Watertown, Simsbury, Tri-Town, and Bristol, were present and contributing to the event. The day could not have been more perfect as it was around 80 degrees with barely a cloud in the sky.
The opening ceremonies began at 8:30am with a parade of athletes from all the delegations. Throughout the day, there were multiple track and field events going on including the 100 meter run, the 200 meter run, the 400 meter run, long jump, standing jump, shot put, turbo jav, and softball throw. These events had multiple heats as there were such a large number of athletes whose ages ranged from 10 years old to 60 years old. As each event ended, every athlete proudly walked their way to an award stand and was given medals and ribbons to symbolize their strength and courage to participate.
Lunch, courtesy of Danbury Moose Lodge #1373, was offered to all athletes and volunteers from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. There was also a Family Hospitality Tent, presented by the Special Olympics Danbury local program that served popcorn, coffee and donuts to all participants. Olympic Town, presented by King Street United Church of Christ, an inside arts and crafts location, was yet another exciting area of interest for participants. Volunteers came from all over Northwest Connecticut and played a crucial role in ensuring that the day ran smoothly. They assisted in timing races, measuring throws and jumps, escorting athletes, serving food, and other various aspects of the event. From every corner of the track complex there were athletes with big grins on their faces, volunteers cheering on participants, and an overarching sense of unity and camaraderie that Special Olympics always strives for.
The next major Special Olympics event in Connecticut will be the 2012 Summer Games which will take place from June 8th to June 10th at Southern Connecticut State University. For more information regarding please log onto www.soct.org.