Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Special Olympics Track and Field Team competed in the Kentucky State Summer Games on May 31 and June 1, 2019. Each member competed in various track and field events over the course of the two days.
While team members enjoyed winning medals and were recognized for their achievements, Local Coordinator Greg Hudson focused on the team itself and how important the Special Olympics organization is in Edmonson County.
"Special Olympics is an International Organization that was founded with the purpose of providing an opportunity for all individuals to participate in athletic competition regardless of their abilities," he said. "In order to be eligible to compete as an athlete, an individual must have a cognitive delay that has been diagnosed by an agency or professional."
Hudson said that Special Olympics is not only limited to individuals with intellectual impairment, but also is open to all athletes in the form of unified teams. These teams are comprised of the athlete and partner, (individual without an intellectual impairment.)
"These teams are a very important part of Special Olympics as they provide and opportunity for both the athlete and partner to gain knowledge and experience the enjoyment of athlete competition while forming lasting relationships that will forever shape the communities in which they live," he added.
Hudson not only wanted to honor Edmonson County athletes for a job well done, but also wanted to thank the volunteers who make the games possible.
"There were over 1,000 volunteers who worked the games this year and they made the games exciting and fun for all the athletes. This year we had six athletes compete in track and field events and each athlete won at least one medal during the competition."
This year's competing team members included: Matthew Vincent, Michael Vincent, Ross Hudson, Bart Decker, Chris Wilkerson, and Jesse Condor. Vivian Thomas serves as Head Track & Field Coach.
"Last but not least I want to thank those who have volunteered or who have supported our team financially this year, without the money to purchase equipment, pay the entry fee for competition or the volunteer support to run practice or compete this would not be possible," Hudson said.
For more information on becoming an athlete or how you can support the team, you can contact Greg Hudson at 270-991-3578.