Legends will gather in Northside next week at the 51st annual Special Olympics Track and Field Meet. Each legendary athlete will be celebrated for their ability, hard work, and determination to do their best.
“Through their perseverance, they teach us things no one else can, and for that, they are truly legendary,” said Donna Umhoefer, lead specialist for Adapted Physical Education/Special Olympics.
Special Olympics began in Northside ISD in 1969 with just a handful of participants. This year, more than 1,500 Olympians will participate from 103 schools across the District at Gustafson Stadium.
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 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.
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. 25: (Elementary schools competing)
Wednesday, Feb. 26: (Elementary schools competing)
Thursday, Feb. 27: (Middle schools competing)
Friday, Feb. 28 (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.