Special Olympics gives local children chance to compete

Children from all across Mississippi gathered at Tupelo High School for various athletic events.

Posted: Apr 2, 2019 10:24 AM
Updated: Apr 3, 2019 12:58 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - More than 600 athletes showed up to Tupelo High School for a day full of activities that are all about them.

Last Friday, athletes, friends and families traveled from all over the state for the games held in Tupelo.

Cassie Swoop is a special education teacher at Tupelo Middle School. She coordinated the event. 

"Each athlete gets to participate in three events and it's just really fun, wonderful, uplifting day for an athlete and the volunteers and for everyone involved," Swoop said.

Friday's events included track and field, a softball throw and much more.

Each athlete has a buddy for the day. The buddies are volunteers that go to each activity and compete alongside their assigned buddy. The buddies may or may not have a disability.

Charlotte Warfield is the mother of 13-year-old Elizabeth who has down syndrome. This is her second year participating in the games.

"It's a really wonderful thing to see your child be normal for a change," Warfield said.

Sports are one way to even the playing field and dispel stereotypes and assumptions others may have about those with disabilities.

It was the first Special Olympics since President Donald Trump decided to re-authorize funding to the organization.

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