Special Olympics competitors gather in Paragould for competition

Special Olympics competitors gather in Paragould for competition

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Early morning showers didn't stop the show for Special Olympics competitors in Paragould.

Monday morning, competitors from Clay, Lawrence, Greene, Randolph and Sharp counties gathered at Paragould High School for the Arkansas Special Olympics Track and Field competition.

Melissa and Thomas Freeman were just some of many people who were there to support their 20-year-old daughter Danielle and others in the competition.

Melissa said Danielle has spina bifida, a neural tube defect, that has left her wheelchair bound for most of her life.

After a two-year battle with shingles, Melissa said Danielle got a one-day pass from her doctor to participate in the event.

"She loves this, she looks forward to it," Melissa said. "It gives her a chance to be normal and not have to worry about her disability."

There were also several volunteers on hand to help cheer the participants on.

A group with Anytime Fitness cheered on the athletes, giving them high fives as they paraded down the track.

"It's an awesome feeling being able to help them out," Olivia Prichard said. "I know how exciting it is to see their faces walking down the track during the parade."

Arkansas Special Olympics has several other events through the month of May, ending with the summer games at Harding University on May 26-28.

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