Special Olympics UNH

Anna Lendry, Staff Writer

I drive into the UNH parking lot with a lot of excitement. The Goffstown Special Olympics team is competing at the State competition over the weekend. Tents are set up everywhere and everybody is looking forward for the competitions to start.

On June 1st the Goffstown Special Olympics team, Team Uncanoonuc, competed in the State competition held at UNH. Despite being cloudy and humid, all the athletes came with a smile on their face and excitement for the games to start. Volunteers had to wake up early to arrive at 7:00am to help set up. They set up pop-up tents and  tables filled with drinks and snacks for everyone. At 9:00am the different competitions begin and there will be a long day ahead.

Athletes competed in events such as Running/Walking, Softball throw, Javelin throw, and Bocci. Each athlete is paired up with a volunteer, and practices each sport for weeks to get ready for competition. At the State Competition, the athletes go against around eight other athletes from other teams. The running/walking event is held at the UNH track. There is a 50m & 100m run, and a 50m & 100m walk. The Softball and Javelin throw is held on a field by the track. After competing in their event, the athletes go to awards.  Athletes that came in the top three receive a medal, and the rest receive ribbons. In between events, people walk around, get food, or do arts & crafts in the big tent.

By 3:00 p.m., the last events wrap up, and everybody heads over to the dorms for an overnight. The team relaxes in their dorms, and enjoys dinner before heading back to the fields for opening ceremony. At opening ceremony, all the Special Olympics teams gather in the UNH football stadium. People make speeches, there is a relay race, and to close off a fun day, there are fireworks. The next day is bittersweet as the last competition of the season, but soon enough next season will come and new memories will be made.