Truly Special were these Olympics

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It was meant to be.
    When Alicia Schneider learned her adaptive physical education students at Liberty High School wouldn’t be able to participate in Roanoke’s Special Olympics this year because it was supposed to be held over Bedford County’s spring break, she knew she needed to take action.
    And act she did.
    Schneider called to see if there was an event in the Piedmont Region that they could participate in and learned there wasn’t. But she was offered the chance to put an event together.
    That’s just what she did.
    In quick order, with the blessing and cooperation of the region’s Special Olympics director, the Liberty High School staff and administration and the Bedford County Public Schools administration, Liberty High School’s first Special Olympics Day was organized, enabling some 55 students from the county’s three high schools and three middle schools to enjoy.
    And enjoy they did.
    The event was held last Wednesday and there were smiles from ear to ear as the participants ran, threw and jumped to their heart’s delight—and to the delight of those who were on hand volunteering and cheering for the participants.
    Winning was fun; just getting the chance to compete was even better.
    The athletes competed hard, helped one another and were always cheered on to cross that finish line.
    What could have been a big disappointment turned into a big success.
    While it seemed the scheduling conflict was an obstacle it turned into a blessing. The Roanoke Special Olympics was postponed once and then eventually canceled this week because of bad weather. Had Schneider and the other organizers not shown their initiative, the Bedford County athletes wouldn’t have been able to compete at all.
    There was plenty of sun for Liberty’s event.
    More importantly, there were plenty of smiles.