Hundreds compete in Special Olympics Nashville spring games

Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 22, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One by one, hundreds of athletes laced up their shoes to compete in the 2019 Special Olympics Nashville spring games at Father Ryan High School.

It took about four months to organize the annual event. It's a way to promote sports training and healthy competition for children and adults with intellectual or physical disabilities.

"We just said it's instant gratification where you can see how happy they are getting - to see them win a race or try hardest to win," said Ella Graham.

Athletes from several different schools from all over Nashville competed in a 50 meter dash, 100 meter dash, long jump and softball toss. Inside the gym, were races for those in wheelchairs as well.

"They have disabilities but it doesn’t exclude them from what they can do," said Sasha Stevenson, special education teacher.

This is the seventh year they held this event. After every match, each competitor is met with a smile, high five, and hug.

Wendy Johnson was rooting for her 21-year-old nephew, George, who has cerebral palsy. She says it's inspirational to watch these athletes compete.

"I think its great to have these events because sometimes they get over looked," said Wendy Johnson.