More than 60 athletes representing the Hermiston/Pendleton Special Olympics Local Program #510 traveled to Corvallis July 7-9 to participate in the Special Olympics State Summer Games.
Competing at Trysting Tree Golf Course, five golf athletes brought home a handful of medals — including two first-time golf athletes. David Andrews earned gold in the Individual Skills Competition and Saul Lara got a bronze. Three athletes along with their Unified Partners participated in an alternating shot 9-hole format — receiving bronze medals for the teams of Jonathan Kinsel/Tye Stewart, and Jonathan Wilson/Don Headley. Bringing home the gold were Jason Cargill and Kris Neustal, the 2016 Local Program Coach of the Year.
Four Bocce athletes earned a fourth place finish for the team of Jillian Smalley and Lyall Arey, with a bronze medal finish and sportsmanship award going to the first time Unified Bocce Team of Misty Larsen and Jessica Sexton.
The athletics (track and field) events took place at the Liberty High School, where first-time participant in the Pentathlon event, Jenny Marick, got a gold medal. Many medals and even more smiles were earned at the two-day event, said Kristi Smalley, communications director.
Special Olympics provides year-round athletic training and sports competitions for individuals ages 6 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There is no charge to participate.
The local program’s next sports season is bowling, which begins Sept. 1 at Desert Lanes in Hermiston. Signups are Monday, Aug. 21 from 4-5 p.m. at the Arc Building, 215 W. Orchard Ave., Hermiston. For more information about participating as an athlete or volunteer, call Angela Schneider at 541-314-0166.