Special Olympics at Pingree

Alexa Goldstein, Guest Writer

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On October 15, 2017, Pingree hosted the Special Olympics, setting up the athletic fields in such a way as to make four smaller fields on the two center ones. The main sport of the Special Olympics was soccer, which is the only sport played at the tournament.  As always, it was a huge success! It was not even too cold outside, whereas it has been cold or rainy or both for the past two years at least. Many people from nearby towns and areas made the trip to Pingree to compete in these games and make connections with the other competitors. A large number of volunteers, both Pingree students and people from outside the Pingree community, attended the event to cheer on the teams and help everything run smoothly.

Even before the event started, a tone was set that the day was meant to be about creating new connections and being in support of one another.  Enforced by the idea of a possible prize, the Pingree students were encouraged to turn in their phones for a raffle ticket and live “face to face” instead of through screens. The lucky winner of this contest was Kate Hill ’21, who received a gift card and a Boston Bruins hoodie that was left behind after the event, which was an unexpected prize on top of the actual reward.

To start off the day, there was an Opening Ceremony, which included the a performance by Spectrum and Pingree A Capella of the National Anthem and the Pingree Dance Team performing a fun and energetic piece. Then, three different people gave the Athlete’s Oath, the Coach’s Oath and the Volunteer’s Oath to promise support and good sportsmanship. After that, the games began!  Each team was assigned its games based on the division it was a part of, and at the beginning of the day, the teams were given their game assignments for the day.  Each team played two games, with a break period at some point during the day when they could play bean bag toss, eat lunch, or just spend time with their friends and other people they may have met during the day.  Each game was about 30 minutes long, and there were three rounds of games in total on each field. After all the games had been played, the teams had an Awards Ceremony with different awards for each division, and the awards were based on the number of games that each team won. The top teams for each division would move on to the next round of the Special Olympics, a separate event held at a later date and a different location.

At the end of the day, all the attendees agreed on one thing: that the Special Olympics was an awesome time for everyone involved, both competitors and volunteers. The Pingree volunteers, as well as other assistants, cheered on the teams and got the chance to chat with and get to know the athletes. The athletes had a ton of fun playing a variety of exciting games and everyone watching had a good time. The Special Olympics are great games for a great cause.