Four local children just returned from competing in the Special Olympics in Dubuque. I'd like you to meet Jacob, Hannah, Olivia, and Anthony. It wouldn't be an Olympic competition with out an Opening Ceremony, which kicked off the festivities and included guest speakers like the Dubuque Mayor, Roy Buol. The mission of the Special Olympics is to provide athletic and competitive competitions to people of all ages who have intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics helps to build confidence and skill, but it also builds relationships and friendships that last for a lifetime. The games that took place in Dubuque were in the Winter Olympics category.
The main event of the weekend, in which all four children participated was Speed Skating. Hannah raced in the 25 and 100 meter Speed Skate, she took home a medal for winning in the 100 meter, what an amazing accomplishment! Anthony, who competed in 3 different races was proud to bring home 3 silver medals, take about hard work! Olivia, who is 14 years old, participated in the 25 and 100 meter races, she brought home a gold medal for both, WOW! Jacob also participated in the 25 and 100 meter races, in which he brought home 1 silver and 1 gold, Way to go Jacob! What an awesome accomplishment for all of the kids! It takes hard work and discipline to compete and win in these races, what an amazing job that all four children did!
After a full day of competition everyone got to enjoy an overnight stay at a hotel which included a water park. When Olivia was asked her favorite part of the trip she said, "The pool party in the water park with the big bucket that dumps water!!" Hannah who joined in on the hotel stay fun stated that she enjoyed, "hanging out with friends and the pool party!"
Jacob Millard, Anthony Ortiz, Olivia Scott and Hannah Getz are pictured together during their time at the Special Olympics in Dubuque.
A little more about our athletes: Jacob Millard, Olivia Scott, and Anthony Ortiz are all from Dysart. Hannah Getz lives in La Porte City. All four belong to our school district but all attend River Hills School in Ceder Falls. They all do many different Special Olympic events throughout the year, Dubuque was just for the winter games portion. Everyone was extremely proud of their accomplishments and sported their medals at school and around friends and family for days after the competition. So if you see one of your local Olympians around town sporting their medals, be sure to congratulate them, and tell them good job!
There will be a Spring Olympics Event held in Cedar Falls on March 9th. It is held at the UNI Dome. Many local families from the area volunteer and help make the event in Cedar Falls possible. All four children will also be competing in the Spring Games, so if you would like to get a chance to watch our local stars to go for Gold again be sure to attend the games! You can find more information on all Iowa Special Olympic events at www.soiowa.org. At the Spring games you will be able to watch Jacob race in the swimming competitions as well as the track and field portions. Hannah will be participation in the softball throw and 50 meter dash. You can also cheer on Olivia as she competes in swimming, or Anthony who will be competing in the 50 meter dash.