An inspirational effort

Published 7:12 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The following athletes participated in the 2012 Special Olympics Summer Games for the Beaufort/Hyde team. They are (front row, from left) Perry Lavictorie, Nina Buckman, Janna Logan, (middle row, from left) Scott Taylor, Heather Vinroe, Gary Newman, Jason Alligood, Tara Reddick, (back, from left) Chris Squires, Keanen White, Willie Lewis,William Andrews, Norman Carter, Kelton Columbus and Phil Roberson. (Contributed Photo)

From June 1-3, 15 athletes, six coaches and other staff members stayed in the dorms at the N.C. State campus and participated in the 2012 Summer Special Olympic Games.
Aquatics coach Sara Clark-Boykin said the effort displayed by her aquatics athletes and the entire team proved to be inspirational.
“Allowing these athletes the opportunity to be able to gather together, celebrate, show their abilities and feel a sense of accomplishment is priceless,” Clark-Boykin said. “For some athletes the Special Olympics is all that they have to work for and be proud of. They aren’t able to come and go like they want, when they want. They need more help than most people and the general population is not always accepting of these athletes.
“Everyone there is the same and there is such a feeling of love and happiness from all of the athletes. These athletes work hard for so long at strengthening their abilities and talents and they sure are proud to show that talent off.”
During the Summer Games the Beaufort/Hyde team’s talent was on display as its athletes competed in powerlifting, athletics and aquatics events and won several medals.
In the aquatics competition, Perry LaVictoire and Jason Alligood won gold in the 50-yard freestyle, while Janna Logan won gold in the 50-yard freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. Phil Roberson finished first in the 25-yard freestyle and Heather Vinroe won silver in the 25-yard floatation.
Boykin-Clark was proud of the team’s effort and said their hard work paid off.
“As the aquatics coach, I am able to see how much the Summer Games mean to every single athlete that is participating. My aquatic members begin their swimming practice in September and practiced every Thursday night until the Summer Games kicked off in June.”
In powerlifting, William Andrews brought home a gold, silver and bronze medal, while Norman Carter picked up one silver and two bronze medals. Kelton Columbus earned two gold medals for the team and one silver, as did Willie Lewis. Keenan White tallied one silver and two bronze medals.
In the athletics portion of the Games, Nina Buckman finished first in the 25-meter dash to win gold and earned a bronze medal in the softball throw. Gary Newman earned gold in the running long jump, fourth in the shot put and seventh in the 200-meter dash and Tara Reddick won gold in the softball throw and standing long jump, while picking up a silver in the 25-meter dash. Chris Squires’ effort in the shot put was good enough to take home a silver medal. Squires also placed fourth in the running long jump and the 400-meter dash. Scott Taylor was finished first in the softball throw and also won gold in the standing long jump.