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Special Olympics of Pennsylvania at Juniata College

Every year Juniata College hosts the Special Olympics Central Pennsylvania Fall Sectional, which was on October 6th, 2019. On this day, our campus becomes the stage for athletic excellence and perseverance. Athletes from over 20 central Pennsylvania counties come together to show off their abilities. These athletes work extremely hard for this day, and are full of excitement upon arrival.

I look forward to this event every year. As a cheerleader, we participate in the opening ceremony events by greeting athletes, cheering them on, and doing a short performance. We also volunteer at various stations throughout the day. Although we arrive early in the morning, I keep my energy high and my smile bright. These athletes give their 100% and they deserve my 100%.

Athletes competed in bocce, volleyball, powerlifting, and long-distance running, and walking. It is really amazing to watch these events. The support they have for each other and the sportsmanship they practice is impressive. In addition, they are incredibly talented and dedicated. I never knew how intense bocce could be!

This event is run by student volunteers in the Special Olympics Juniata College organization, from the planning committee to the event judges. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee also provides many dedicated volunteers through our student athletes. Each team signs up for events and different responsibilities together. This is a beautiful day to see athletes supporting other athletes.

I love being able to be part of this exciting moment and support others in their journey to success. No matter who someone is or what obstacles they might face, they deserve the utmost respect for their hard work and achievements.

Special Olympics International has started “The Revolution is Inclusion” campaign to create a fully inclusive world.

Take the pledge Inclusion Pledge here: https://jointherevolution.org/

Photos credits: Special Olympics Pennsylvania

-Stephanie Letourneau ’20 , Environmental Science POE, Dimpled, outdoor loving, MD girl, pursuing passions