Special Olympics: Let the games begin!

special olympics
Athletes compete for medals at the Special Olympics. (photo by Kevin Chauvin)

By Tim Thibeault
 The 5th annual Special Olympics Track and Field Games will come to Fitchburg State University’s Elliot Field on Friday, April 27. The event will launch at 8:30 a.m. and run until approximately 1:30 p.m.
 The games will be directed by Danielle Mutrie and her co-director, Michelle Cree, who was the head director of last year’s games. “This is my fourth year volunteering and I definitely plan to come back … for future events,” Cree said. Fitchburg State continues the tradition by hosting for the fifth time.
 The event is being sponsored by the Fitchburg State education department; the Xi Psi chapter of Kappa Delta Pi honor society, and donations from all over the city of Fitchburg.
 “It takes over $2,000 to successfully run this event and we raised every penny,” Cree said. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the FSU faculty, students, volunteers, families, local businesses, and the community.”
Fitchburg State University’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi has sponsored the event for all five years. The event will welcome about 400 athletes from over 40 schools in the North Central Massachusetts region. In addition, there will be over 150 volunteers on hand to help with the event throughout the day.
 “It’s a wonderful day that brings members of the college, Fitchburg, public schools, and the surrounding communities together,” Cree said. “We get to celebrate the abilities of these amazing athletes.”
 The track and field events are sorted into three age groups: 11 and under, 12-15, and 16-22. Each heat consists of three competitors; all will receive either a gold, silver, or bronze medal.