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Fort Sill kicks off Special Olympics

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- The Special Olympics kicked off on Fort Sill Friday.

Nearly thirty schools across Southwest Oklahoma participated in the annual event hosted by Fort Sill's 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

The competition started with a torch run, national anthem and words from keynote speaker Deputy Commanding General Joe Gallagher.

Fort Soldiers came out to motivate, inspire and even run on the track with many of the athletes.


In the words of Gallagher, many of those soldiers were not only rooting for the athletes but also learning from them.

"I was nervous,” said Eli Miller, student-athlete.

Over 400 athletes took part in the competition.

Many of them feeling the same way as Miller.

However, with the help of their buddies and volunteers, who are also Fort Sill soldiers, they crossed the finish line.

Samantha Reed was one of those soldiers.

"Are entire battery came out,” said Reed. “My battery is bravo 26 and we came out today just to support everyone and have a good time."

Olympians like Josh Johnson competed in softball throws, electric wheelchair racing, running and more.


"I'm so happy I came in first place,” said Johnson.

Master of the ceremony, Cassandra Steiner, said that was their goal of the event to see athletes like Johnson reach their goals.

"Really give back to the community,” said Steiner. “It's a unique event and like I said it's one of the biggest events in Oklahoma. So, the fact that soldiers get to see this event going on everyone has such a great time and it's nice for us to stop just for a day and really give back to our local community."

Reed encouraged all the athletes in the competition to just be themselves.

"Anybody, whether it is a disability or a mindset,” said Reed. “No matter who it is in the world you can do anything if you set your mind to it."

To find a list of winners from today you can visit Southwest Oklahoma Special Olympics website.

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