More than 1,000 students competed in the Cherokee County Special Olympics on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at Sequoyah HS.
In addition to the athletes, there were hundreds of student and adult volunteers on hand to coordinate events and assist athletes. Many Cherokee County schools have "Friends" or "Peer Helper" clubs where regular education program students assist students with disabilities.
The event began with an Opening Ceremony that included a Torch Run and the reading of the Special Olympics motto: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Alexander Andu, left, a Peer Helper at Etowah HS, talks with athlete Sheldon Kiely, one of the torch bearers in the opening ceremonies, just before the Torch Relay begins.
Mill Creek MS Friends Club members Jada Large and Tyler Welsh (in green Friends shirts)
assist athletes Carlin Conway, middle, and Nicole Haustman, right, in a race.
Dr. Brian Hightower, Assistant Superintendent for School Operations, and athlete Katelyn Eaton
from Cherokee HS read the Special Olympics motto for the crowd: "Let me win, but if I cannot win,
let me be brave in the attempt."
Sequoyah HS Peer Helper Katie Loud pins a first place ribbon on Sequoyah HS
athlete Tyler Stoddart following the long jump event.