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Special Saturday
Volunteer Holly McBride gives a kiss to standout athlete Carley Jaye Wilson.

It didn’t seem to matter if they were getting gold, silver and bronze when they stepped on the podium Saturday. The moment the competitors took part the McMinnville Special Games Olympics, they knew they were winners.

Milner Recreation Center was the host site for the 11th annual Special games, which saw over 100 athletes compete throughout the day in the softball throw, 30-yard dash, wheel chair race and broad jump. Medals and ribbons were up for grabs all day and several athletes left draped in their winnings and holding handfuls of prizes, but – most of all – everybody seemed to leave smiling after the competition.

“I’m so proud of each and every one of our special athletes. They did an incredible job,” said Holly McBride, who organized the event and served as emcee for the medal ceremonies. “It was a great day full of smiles and blessings. Our year is off to a wonderful start for McMinnville Special Games.”

Overall, 47 adults and 58 children participated. McBride noted some came in right before the event, which was fine with the Special Games team. “The more the merrier,” said McBride about the turnout.

Anybody who attended was in for a treat. The softball toss saw some high-flying throws by several athletes and the broad jump brought out the best leapers, but the races seemed to be the biggest hit.

“I think the 30-yard dash and the wheel chair races are the most fun for the participants, but they do an amazing job at the broad jump and softball throw too,” said McBride.

And no Olympic ceremony is truly finished without a big party to celebrate the participants. A carnival was held as well, with games, face painting, temporary tattoos and bounce houses in place for everybody. McBride also noted that the event – free to all attendees (including food) – helped raise money via generous donations throughout the day.

“We had a donation bucket for those wanting to contribute and we took in $480, so that was amazing. I would also like to extend thanks to all the amazing volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this day happen,” said McBride.

Be on the lookout for the next McMinnville Special Games event. More winners will be crowned soon.

To get the latest information on McMinnville Special Games, make sure to follow their Facebook page.