Large crowd turns out for Special Olympics event

Thursday, March 1, 2012
Piggott Special Olympians receive a big welcome during the Area 1 Special Olympics Basketball Skills Competition at Piggott High School Friday.

The skills of the competitors was only outshined by the smiles of the participants, as more than 200 athletes gathered at the Piggott High School gymnasium Friday, Feb. 24, for the Area One Special Olympics basketball skills competitions.

Participants from area schools, including Piggott, Marmaduke, Pocahontas, Walnut Ridge, Hoxie, Paragould and Greene County Tech, and adult centers Abilities and Focus of Paragould and the Lawrence County Cooperative in Walnut Ridge took part in this year's individual competitions. A crowd of hundreds was on hand for the annual event, as support for these amazing athletes continues to shine in the Piggott community and northeast Arkansas.

Volunteer presence was great for the event, with assistance provided by PHS students, the community and members of the Christian Motorcycle Association. Members of the club have been involved in the local effort for many years, serving as both volunteer helpers and cheerleaders for the dozens of athletes.

The event began with the grand march, as the teams paraded into the gym to the applause of an appreciative crowd. Crowds gathered to greet the participants with high-fives and cheers as the athletes entered the gymnasium. The participants then took part in the opening ceremonies prior to beginning the various competitions. Athletes took part in the wall pass, speed dribbling and spot shot individual events.

In the end, the day was not about coming out ahead, as the score was kept in smiles, with everyone leaving a winner.

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