We waited and looked forward to it all year long. After counting up the first 100 days of school, we began counting down to our special trip. It took a long time, and it seemed so far away. Many preparations needed to be made. A bus needed to be arranged. Athletes still needed physicals. T-shirts were to be ordered. And then...it came on us like a flash!
First, we started getting ready by talking about it. Then, we continued getting ready by practicing outside. Soon it was time to go to the Area Special Olympics games in Midwest City. After that, the State Games, the three day trip that we had been looking forward to all year, was just around the corner.
The day, May 16, 2001, finally arrived and it was time for the big trip. It was time for the athletes...the Tigers of Hilldale...to make that trip to Stillwater for the Special Olympics State Summer Games! It had been a long time in coming, but it was worth the wait!
The first day was new for some, the second time for others, but exciting for all! First, they settled into the dorms and ate lunch. Later, the relay team competed in the 4x100 Relay and did a great job. They placed 3rd! You should have seen them fly around that track! That evening we all went to see the Parade of Athletes and the Opening Ceremonies.
Thursday was full of competition, and fun! All of the Tigers competed in the Softball Throw and the 50 Meter Dash, winning medals and ribbons from 1st place to 7th place. They were all great competitors, and all came away winners! We were very proud of them! In the evening was the Celebration Dance, and they danced and played as hard as they had competed.
Friday, when the rain had finally stopped, we wrapped up with a trip over to the Olympic Village, lunch, and a very tired bus ride home. Once back at school, the athletes got to relax and watch themselves on video tape. They had almost as much fun as being there! They laughed as they watched and remembered what a great time they had! What a wonderful way to end the year!
Thank you to everyone who supported the Hilldale Tigers and made this trip such a success. Thanks to Emily, a truly wonderful person, who helps and gives of her time just to make their trip better! We appreciate you so much! And finally, thanks to Mrs. Effinger, whose excitement and fun and love for the kids truly shines through! This trip, like all the others, would not have been possible without her!
Congratulations, Hilldale Tigers! You are all winners! Have a great summer, and...
Until the next update, keep "Reaching For The Stars!"
THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS OATH
Let me win,
But if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.
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