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LOCAL SPECIAL OLYMPIANS PREPARE FOR GAMES IN AUSTRALIA

jeff@samoanews.com
Three of the Special Olympic champions at yesterday's Special Olympics at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tafuna. (L-R) Caleb Mulitalo (Lupelele Elementary), Lupe Wilson (Lupelele Elementary) and Ronnie Live (Tafuna Elementary). The Special Athletes are preparing for next year's International Special Olympics in Australia. [photo: Jeff Hayner]

Yesterday morning, more than 100 Special Athletes with as many volunteers, parents and families were participants in the first local Special Olympics competition in at least thirty years. 

Children and adults with special needs competed in 10 different Track and Field events: the 25 meter walk, 100 meter walk, 25 meter run, 50 meter run, 100 meter run, 200 meter run, 50 meter walk, 100 meter relay, softball throw and tennis ball throw. Parents, friends and aiga cheered the Special Athletes on.

“I am so proud of my son", said one happy mother. " I am so happy that the Special Olympics of America Samoa is trying to get the program back up again. My son is happy to be here today, he is having so much fun.

Vice Chairman for the Special Olympics Committee of American Samoa, Tea Poumele said their committee is “… trying to get the Special Olympics program here in American Samoa running once again, with the focus of getting those kids here with disabilities to get them involved in these games and to ready for the next coming event in July, as well as the International Games next year in Australia,”

Pomele credited the day's success to the ASG departments, the Department of Education Special Education, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Department of Health working with the event's generous sponsors "to get this event going".

The day of sports for the territory's Special Athletes, children and adults with intellectual disabilities, was summed up well by a group of parents at yesterday's event. "Fa’afetai Special Olympics. Great job”.



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