Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Special Olympian

This weekend I attended North Carolina's Special Olympics Summer Games for the second year in a row.  Specifically, the "Athletics" events which is the Track & Field sporting competition.  There are many many more programs during the three day event, as well as throughout the year.  It was hosted by the Ravencroft School, a private {and very very nice} school for K-12.  Hubby says he would love for Lucas to go there.

Last year I was in the middle of my pregnancy with Lucas -- and it was super hot and humid.  This year, Lucas got to see his Uncle Gary in action!  The morning started out cool and cloudy; I actually had to change into my long jeans from my shorts.

But eventually the sun peaked out more and the clouds cleared.  It ended up being a very warm day indeed.

Gary competed {and was awarded} in the following categories.

Running Long Jump -- GOLD!!  {First Place}

Shot Put -- WHITE RIBBON  {Fourth Place}

200m Dash -- ORANGE RIBBON  {Seventh Place}

Way to go Gary!!

His first event was the Running Long Jump where he competed with two other athletes.  They had their practice jumps and then competed.


Gary's second event was Shot Put.  He competed against three other athletes this time.  The first place athlete threw it really far! 

Gary was awarded the fourth place ribbon. And he had to show it off to his nephew, Lucas.

There was several hours until Gary's final event, the 200 meter Dash.  I took advantage throughout the day to also try out my photography skills {okay, I try, I really do}.

Payton following Granddaddy.  I wish I had the software to make this into a silhouette!
We were both very very tired.  At least he got a nap.

The first set of track events {100m} getting ready.
Sheetz was there giving out FREE fruit smoothies!!  This one tasted like raspberry and was awesome.

Testing the big zoom lens.  :)  This was across the field.

Then Hubby and I went off to find some place to cool off, sit down and eat some lunch.  We ended up going down the street from the school and eating at a local restaurant, the Tribeca Tavern.  Hubby and I just gobbled down some pizza and wings {made from North Carolina Agriculture products} and tried some local brew, Mash House Red and Blond.

Then we headed back to the school with plenty of time for Gary's last event at the track.  Hubby walked Gary over to the staging area when it was time to gather for the 200m Dash.  Gary was lined up in the 4th row against six other athletes in his event -- that's twice the competition than his other two events.  The gun went off and they were running!

It didn't take long for Gary to take the lead!  With starting in the fourth row he caught up to everyone quickly, before 100m even.  He ran so hard though that about two-thirds way down the track his legs gave out and he fell.  But he got back up and finished the race. 

Unfortunately he ended up finishing last because of the ground he lost.  He was very upset that he fell.  But I just kept telling him that he ran as hard as he could -- that now he can learn for next year that he needs to pace himself and he could easily win.  He did an awesome job, and took the orange ribbon for 7th place.

My MIL walked with Gary toward the award tent and the rest of us made our way around the track to meet up with them.  Quite the ending to the day!  Gary took one medal and two ribbons throughout the day -- quite an accomplishment. 

I hope he sticks with the 200m Dash because I really think he can medal next year.  And next year is the qualifiers for Nationals which will be exciting if he gets to go to that again.  {He made it to the last one in Nebraska.}

Keep it up Gary!  Next up is the Winter Olympics.  Although I probably won't make it to your skiing event because I really don't like winter sports.  :)  Too cold.  Ah, maybe we'll try anyway...

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