The 46th annual NISD Special Olympics ceremonies scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have been canceled due to the cold weather. The remainder of the week continues as scheduled for March 5-7 at Gustafson Stadium.
Makeup days for the two canceled events will be March 17 and March 20, due to stadium availability.
The theme for this year’s competition is “Special Olympics: Northside is Texas Proud” and each athlete will walk into the stadium during the “Parade of Athletes” waving a Texas flag, ready to compete.
Special Olympics began in Northside ISD in 1968 with just a handful of participants. This year, more than 1,300 Olympians will participate from 103 schools across the District.
Opening ceremonies begin each day at 10 a.m. with the Parade of Athletes, Torch Run, and lighting of the Special Olympics caldron. This year, opening ceremonies each day will feature either special entertainment or a guest speaker. To help pump up the athletes, drum lines and mascots have also been invited.
In addition to the 103 schools participating over the five-day event, more than 525 student volunteers and 175 community and district volunteers will be on hand to support the athletes and cheer them on to victory.
“The Special Olympics experience is one to behold and warms the heart of all that attend,” says Nancy Smith, lead specialist for NISD Adapted Physical Education/Special Olympics. “The medals placed around students’ necks will never shine brighter than the smiles on their faces as they compete alongside their peers.”
Competition events include the 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash, softball throw, Turbojav, and standing long jump, along with wheelchair and developmental racing and throwing events.
Opening ceremonies performers and speakers include:
· Monday, March 3 (rescheduled for March 17): (elementary schools competing) Garcia MS Jazz Band performing
· Tuesday, March 4 (rescheduled for March 20): (elementary schools competing) Guest speaker is Wallace Jefferson, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and NISD school namesake; Connally MS Jazz Band performing
· Wednesday, March 5: (middle schools competing) Luna MS Jazz Band performing
· Thursday, March 6: (high schools competing) Health Careers HS Jazz Band performing
· Friday, March 7: (Reddix Center students competing) Jones MS Jazz Band performing
Team trophies and awards will be presented at 1:10 p.m. each day during closing ceremonies.