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Celebrating Our Special Olympians

Celebrating Our Special Olympians 

Saturday, June 20th, the DoSeum was honored to partner with the Special Olympics of Texas and host the Special Olympics annual award ceremony. On Saturday, athletes, families, and the community gathered to celebrate San Antonio athletes and to enjoy fun exercises and games, including yoga and RoTenGo. This year, the ceremony coincided with the passing of the Flame of Hope through Texas, as it made its way through all 50 states and onward to the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Athlete Kristen explained the passing of the torch and its origins to those gathered at the ceremony on Saturday. The torch, she explained, was lit in Athens before traveling through Europe and then making its way across the ocean to Washington D.C. The torch then passes along three routes through all fifty United States. On Monday, Kristen would be part of the team carrying the torch as it passed through San Antonio and then onward to Austin.

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Other torchbearers were present on Saturday, including some of the athletes of the year who were being honored at Saturday’s ceremony. Four athletes were awarded the title of athletes of the year, with a male and female awarded in the division of athletes ages 15-22, and athletes 22 years and older. Danisia Rivas, who was honored as female athlete of the year for ages 15-22, competes in basketball, track, baseball, and bowling. “Basketball and bowling are my favorites,” she said. At the athlete meet and greet, other athletes spoke of their time with Special Olympics. Katie Hass said, “I love competition”, while athlete Krystal said her favorite is basketball, because, “I like dribbling on the court.”

 

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The Special Olympics also took the time to honor members of the community, volunteers, coaches, and families who dedicate their time to making Special Olympics events a possibility, and who demonstrate a commitment to the Special Olympics’ mission of inclusion and acceptance. Coach of the year James Spain said of his involvement with Special Olympics, “Sports are a really cool way for our athletes and our children to be included. Sports is a language everyone speaks.” The family of the year, the Zuniga family, whose sons Jonathan and JoJo are part of the program, says of their involvement, “We do it for the spirit of our kids and for their enjoyment.”

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Everyone was enjoying themselves as athletes and their families, coaches, and friends came together with other DoSeum guests to play RoTenGo, perform yoga, and engage in other fun fitness activities. As a place where all children come to learn and play, it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying themselves together. Chris Navarro, the DoSeum Public Programs and Community Partnership manager said of the event, “We hope it’s just the beginning of a long partnership with Special Olympics.”

 

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Posted by Miranda Clark at 10:24 PM
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