Over 100 athletes competed for special recognition at a state-sanctioned Special Olympics meet at the Quitman High School track field on Friday.
Athletes hailed from Como-Pickton, Mabank and Sulphur Springs ISDs, as well as from Hopkins, Upshur and Wood Counties.
The Quitman event was sponsored by Pilot Club of Quitman, with a host of volunteers from the surrounding area, included the Quitman Anchor Club.
During the opening ceremony, all cheered for the athletes as they paraded around the track with music, flag waving, cheering clowns and many encouraging bystanders.
Competitors displayed determination, courage, and high spirits in their individual quests for medals. But as important, there were new friendships formed and old friendships renewed, as the athletes encouraged and gleefully supported each other.
Once the last race was run, all of the athletes, coaches and and volunteers enjoyed a hamburger lunch as the winners showed off their medals and talked about the various events and achievements.
Of the day, Quitman Pilot Club member and chair of the event, Leigh Donahue said, “This was simply a wonderful day that many will remember for a long time. While all of the athletes had a great time, and left with smiles on their faces, I dare say the volunteers and coaches had just as much fun. To be a part of a day like this is a gift for the recipient, as well as the spectators. And, this event would not have been possible without the generous support of Pilot Club from our outstanding community members and corporate sponsors at our fundraisers.”