BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County Middle School (FCMS) was the site for the 2018 Special Olympics on Wednesday, May 16, as athletes young and old competed in a full-court dash, a tennis ball throw, and the long jump. The event, originally scheduled to take place on the high school football field, was moved to the FCMS gym less than 24 hours before the scheduled start time. Heavy rain and thunderstorms were forecasted but thankfully for the athletes never happened.
Without the hard work and dedication of four individuals, the last-minute move would not have gone so effortlessly. Gini Bell, director of Special Olympics -Fannin, and Fannin Middle School administrators Principal Keith Nuckolls and Assistant Principals Dr. Connie Huff and Tony Tichler made the transition from outside to inside allowing everyone to focus on the athletes. The remainder of the FCMS teachers and staff deserve a huge pat on the back as well. The normal school day was reworked, including bringing each grade in at different times to cheer on the stars of the day. The cafeteria staff fed the everyday students on time while the athletes were fed by Chick-fil-A.
Now to the really important part of the day … the ATHLETES! From all over Fannin and Gilmer counties these athletes ranged from elementary students to senior citizens. There were smiles all around from the faces of the students, volunteers and, of course, the athletes. There were also tears. Tears from those that did not receive medals or compete to the level that their hearts told them they could. At the end of the day, every athlete was full of excitement in knowing that they gave their all and most importantly … they had fun! The only real truth to take away from this event and in life is to know that no matter what happens, you are still a WINNER.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County honored its special athletes today, and officially proclaimed both in the City of Blue Ridge and in Fannin County that the week of May 16, 2018 be Special Olympics Week.
Crowds gathered shortly before 10:30 a.m. this morning in the free parking area of downtown Blue Ridge. Among those present were Special Olympic supporters, teachers, proud parents, Blue Ridge and Fannin County law enforcement and emergency personnel, representatives from Fannin County’s educational system, and of course, the athletes.
This year marks a very special anniversary for the olympics. Having begun in 1968, the Special Olympics celebrates its 50th year.
Blue Ridge Mayor Donna Whitener was present to kick off festivities as she announced that the City of Blue Ridge was officially acknowledging this week as Special Olympics Week and delivered a proclamation stating such from the city.
A lighting of the ceremonial torch set activities in motion, and the athletes were cheered on as they made their way up East Main Street to the Fannin County Courthouse participating in the Fannin County Torch Relay.
The celebration continued at the courthouse where the procession was greeted by Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton. Helton announced to the crowd that Fannin County too would like to recognize this week as Special Olympics Week and signed an official proclamation as well.
The Special Olympics will take place tomorrow, May 16, at Fannin County Middle School (FCMS). The opening ceremony will be at 9 a.m. in the FCMS gym.
Elementary athletes and Mineral Springs athletes will compete from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Middle and High School athletes will compete from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
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