Athletes Compete in District 7 Special Olympics
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (May 10, 2017) – Fifteen adult athletes competed in the District 7 Special Olympics Track and Field, April 28, at Rio Grande University.

“I had a team that competed in bocce ball, and then I had two that were in chairs – one was a motorized chair and one was a manual chair – and one of them competed in a 30- and a 50-slalom, just going around cones, and the other one did it in a 30- and a 50-race and slalom. Then they went from the 50- to the 100-yard dash, softball throw, and I had a guy compete in the 200-yard dash and running long jump,” said Coach Rita Arthur.

Each and every one of the 15 athletes came home with a first, second, or third-place medal, qualifying them to participate in the State Special Olympics Track and Field, June 23-25, at The Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio. These athletes are: Jackie Barnett, Mike Bear, Jeremy Call, Jerry Coyle, Tony Fisher, John Geyer, George Jewell, Tammy Mitchell, Jacob Nele, Brandi Pennington, Jessica Riggs, Johnny Royalty, Karla Short and Alex Sudbrook. 

Arthur said she expects five to attend the state competition.

“Special Olympics is such a wonderful thing for us at the County Board of DD. We go all year and compete, first with basketball and then bowling, track and field, and golfing. I have folks that practice twice a week for each event that we go to participate in, and they’re really excited. The most joy is when one of them crosses the line and they put that medal around their neck for something they’ve accomplished and worked hard for – that’s the most thrilling part,” Arthur said. 

This event was for adults only, and the Vern Riffe School students’ track and field competition will be May 16 at Portsmouth High School.

For information about the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, visit online at, or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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