More than 1,600 athletes will go for gold at Special Olympics track and field meet

The 50th annual NISD Special Olympics Track and Field Meet is scheduled for Feb. 26 – March 1 at Gustafson Stadium.

The theme for this year’s competition is a Mardi Gras celebration which is fitting because Special Olympics is a celebration of each competitor’s abilities.  

Special Olympics began in Northside ISD in 1969 with just a handful of participants. This year, more than 1,600 Olympians will participate from 103 schools across the District.

Opening ceremonies begin each day at 10 a.m. with the Parade of Athletes, Torch Run, and lighting of the Special Olympics caldron. Opening ceremonies each day will feature special entertainment to help pump up the athletes, including high school drum lines, ROTC Honor Guards, and spirit groups.

In addition to the 103 schools participating over the four-day event, more than 300 community volunteers and 600 student and district volunteers will be on hand to support the athletes and cheer them on to victory.

“We are honored to have so many community and NISD student volunteers” says Donna Umhoefer, lead specialist for NISD Adapted Physical Education/Special Olympics. “It takes all of us to encourage our athletes to do their best each day of the Special Olympics competition!”

Competition events include the 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash, softball throw, Turbojav, standing and running long jump, along with wheelchair and developmental racing and throwing events.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26: (Elementary schools competing)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27: (Elementary schools competing)
  • Thursday, Feb. 28: (Middle schools competing)
  • Friday, March 1: (High schools competing)

Team trophies and awards will be presented at 1:15 p.m. each day during closing ceremonies.

Organizers monitor the weather each day and any updates to schedules are posted on the NISD website, Facebook, and Twitter.