Sunday, May 1, 2011


Today was the Track and Field Special Olympics tournament in Marysville, Washington. About 30 minutes from our house in Edmonds. Opening ceremonies was at 8:30 so we ended up leaving our house this morning at 7:30. Which means Beth was up between 6:00 and 6:30. Have I ever told you that she is not a morning person?

The opening ceremony was two Native American Dancers. We wondered about them and found out later we were right. It was a dad and his son who happened to have special needs. They did an awesome job. Sorry the picture isn't the greatest. I didn't want to use flash on them, and... they were dancing.

Afterward we all headed outside and Beth and I went to get her number or 'bib' as they called it. Chuck and Diana found our seats and set up the blankets. Beth's team is called the Edmonds Independents.

When their race is called over the loud speaker, all the athletes go down to the check in area. There's a 'first call', 'second call' and 'final call' for each race. All the volunteers seemed to have a clipboard and they'd check and double check to make sure the athletes were in the right place, with the correct team, waiting for the correct competition. The athletes then hang out in the tent area until it's their turn to compete.

When it's their turn, they all line up to go out onto the field. Beth's first competition was the softball throw. Just one step below the shot put. Here she's loosening her hand to get ready to throw. Each athlete got three chances to throw the ball. I'm not sure how they get the final score, if they average the totals or choose the best throw. As soon as your event is over, you go right to the awards area and the medal ceremony.

In the softball throw Beth won silver!!

Between events there was a lot of waiting.

She found a shady spot to sit and wait.

A LOT of waiting.

There were so many great athletes. And so many different colored jerseys! Relays and long jumps, high fives, smiles and joy! As the athletes finished their competetions, they'd walk by the bleachers on their way to the medal ceremonies and everyone in the stands, didn't matter what team you were on, everyone clapped and cheered for the athletes. Many times the emotions would well up and I'd be in tears. We watched one race where one boy kept looking back at his opponent, sort of waiting for him to catch up so they could run together. So amazing! Such big hearts in these kids!

This was the 200 meter walk and unfortunately Beth was walking too fast and was on the verge of running. They disqualified her and she ended up with a 'Participation' ribbon.

(She doesn't yet know she was disqualified. She's just tuckered.)

The 50 meter dash.

Waiting for another medal ceremony.

She got 4th in the 50 meter dash.

Headed home with all of her winnings! Two ribbons and a silver medal!


Kristin said...

Way to go Beth!!!!! I bet you are so proud. There is a week here where all the Special Olympians who work at the grocery store we shop at, wear their medals. I always get choked up!

Becca said...

Congratulations, Beth!!! That gave me chills (the good kind) to read about the Olympian who was waiting for his opponent to catch up so they could run together - so sweet.

Ellen said...

My eyes are welling up just reading this thinking about those amazing athletes. Congratulations to Beth. I love reading your blog. My little guy will be 3 in July so I love to get insights about what life may have in store for me.

JC said...

Thats awesome!! Looks like it was a great day :)

Michelle said...

Congrats to Beth on her medal and ribbons! I love the header picture too - beautiful!