On Saturday, Apr. 27, a beautiful, sunny morning greeted hundreds of athletes competing in the 2019 Texas Panhandle Special Olympic Spring Games at Boys Ranch.
For more than 15 years, athletes from the Texas Panhandle have come to our healing community for this annual event to compete in a variety of track-and-field events, from dashes to relay races and shot-put to high jump. Such a large event is made possible thanks to our young people and their mentors at Boys Ranch, who volunteer to help host the day’s happenings.
“Every year, this event brings our community together,” said Shelli Miner, director of youth activities. “It’s a great way for our young people to give back to local communities in the Texas Panhandle.”
As the opening ceremonies commenced, teams from Amarillo, Canyon, Hereford, Dalhart, Dumas, Stratford, Friona and Pampa carried their ceremonial banners across the track. The Olympic torch was lit, making its way around the field by select athletes accompanied by members of the Amarillo Police Department.
Throughout the day, signs of dedication, sportsmanship — and fun— could be seen through the abundance of big smiles, hugs and high fives by all who competed. A noticeable excitement could be felt from the crowd as they cheered for competitors decked out in bright team shirts.
As the medals were presented, Olympians came to the podium to be recognized for their incredible skill and hard work.
To all who watched, it was very clear that this day showcased the athletes’ abilities, ambition — and awesome attitudes!
“Our boys and girls are so inspired by the athletes,” Miner said. “Some of our youth already plan to volunteer at next year’s games!”