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Special Event for Special People

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Special Event for Special People

Katie Houser

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Special Event for Special Athletes

By Katie Houser

The Special Olympics held at Treynor High school that is put on by the girls and boys basketball teams has been going on for six years. This is a very special event that makes the lives of the less fortunate happier.

“My favorite part of the Special Olympics is watching the athletes celebrate when they make a basket,” said senior basketball player Konnor Sudmann.

Many of the basketball players that help out with this event have so much fun with them and love seeing their smiling faces. The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams enjoy helping them with the different activities and having lunch with them.  Even the basketball cheerleaders are involved in this. They teach the athletes some of their cheers.

Seniors Konnor Sudmann and Jerry Jorgenson have both been a part of this event for four straight years and they both said they love it and they are sad this is their last year.

Several of the seniors have been involved in this every year they have played basketball. They say this is a really enjoyable event that everyone loves to participate in. several basketball players from both girls and boys have said they love interacting with the athletes and seeing them smile.

My favorite part is seeing all the happy kiddos and adults that get to participate and show spirit!” said junior cheerleader Allison Young.

Freshman Andi Piittmann agreed. “Watching all the Special Olympic athletes smile and laugh is definitely my favorite part about this event,” she said.

The cheerleaders said they had fun working with the athletes and teaching them all of their cheers. They also said they enjoyed interacting and getting to know a few of the athletes.

“I definitely like seeing how happy all of the competitors are to be doing the event, and I just love interacting with them and getting to know them,” said junior basketball player Jack Tiarks.

Tiarks really enjoyed teaching the athletes new skills and interacting with them. He said he loves when we get the opportunity to host this event because seeing the athletes and competitors smile and laugh is one of his favorite parts of helping out.

“One memory I have from Special Olympics is when someone gave me a huge hug when they made the basket and got so excited,” said sophomore basketball player Brie Chaussee

Chaussee has only been a part of this event for one year, and she said she is already having great connections with the athletes and can’t wait for the years to come. She said she loves being a part of Special Olympics and seeing everyone so happy.

“Personally, my favorite part of our event is seeing our kids interact with the Special Olympics athletes,” boys’ basketball Coach Scott Rucker said, “This is a day where we serve them, but I hope our athletes take as much from this day as the Special Olympics athletes.”

This event is used as a day of service learning for the basketball players and cheerleaders, and they gain a lot from the experience.

“You can see our athletes become more comfortable and more engaging as the day goes on, but most importantly, you can see them grow as people,” said boys basketball Coach Scott Rucker.   

Coach Rucker helps make this event possible every year. This event has been going on for about six years now. This year was the biggest outcome of athletes over the six year course of time.  More than 100 athletes come every year to take part in this exciting event. Coach Rucker said that his basketball players love being involved in this event because it shows them how happy some people can be just by having you encourage them playing basketball.

“It is really special to see how excited some of the Special Olympics athletes are to see our athletes again. Some of the happiest people I know happen to be Special Olympics athletes, and they always remind us that we should smile more, laugh more, and appreciate what we have a little more” said Coach Rucker.

Coach Rucker said he always feels like him and the team need to do more for the community so he hopes this is a catalyst for the team to reach out to the community. He also said he loves how much the community gives to us and support our sports here that every team should “give back.” All the athletes are special but one brings even more joy to the junior class of Treynor.

“I would have to say a fun memory of this event is being able to see Kayleigh Gillespie every year she comes here,” Tiarks said, “She had gone to school here with us since elementary, and it’s always fun seeing her and talking to her because she always has a smile on her face and is always trying to make others happy.”

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Special Event for Special People