PC COLUMN: “Highly Addictive”: PC students know it about the Special Olympics
Athletes gave it their all the morning of Friday, March 29 at Bailey Memorial Stadium. Crowds typically gather at the stadium to cheer on the Blue and Garnet. This time a crowd filled the stands and stood along the track to cheer on athletes wearing shirts of different colors, like blue, gray, gold, and yellow.
The shirts of all of the athletes, along with their some of their biggest fans, had the same message on the back: “Warning: Special Olympics is highly addictive. You may be hooked for life!”
PC students know this is true. They’ve been volunteering their time to host the Area 5 Special Olympics for the past 45 years.
“I have two special needs brothers who enjoy the Special Olympics, and it’s just a great thing for me and my family to give back to this event,” PC senior Trey Counterman said. “I’m so glad Presbyterian College is able to put on this event, and I’m grateful to be able to give my time to such a wonderful organization.”
This year, more than 400 athletes from Laurens and surrounding counties competed in the event at Bailey Memorial Stadium. These athletes came to Clinton from Laurens County schools as well as organizations like Whitten Center, the Burton Center in Greenwood and Ware Shoals, and the Newberry County Department of Special Needs.
And they came to have fun.
Some enjoyed the face painting. Many competed in track and field races like the 50-yard dash. Some practiced their hula hoop skills in the grassy area outside the stadium.
They cheered one another on, giving high fives and “Attaboys!” throughout the day. Many of the athletes’ fans were encouraging them from the stands as they held up signs saying “Amazing job!” and “Congrats!”
PC’s motto is “While We Live, We Serve.” In many ways, the Special Olympics is the College’s signature service effort.
PC sophomore Dominiq Jones and his mother, Diana, were at the stadium cheering on the athletes and helping with the event. They’ve been volunteering with the Special Olympics for years.
“We move around a lot in the military,” Diana said. “We’ve been for 26 years, so every duty station that we’re at, we always participate in Special Olympics.”
Diana started taking Dominiq to the events with her when he was a child to help cheer on the athletes.
“Dominiq loved it,” she said. “It’s a charitable event that’s very near and dear to him.
“I’m just happy that he’s able to continue it in college.”
About PC: Presbyterian College is between Columbia and Greenville, in the college town of Clinton, S.C. At PC, we’re noted as much for our challenging academics as we are for our one-of-a-kind mascot: the Blue Hose. Our students are one-of-a-kind too: They bring their own interests and abilities to campus and pursue them with gusto. Students customize their education by choosing from 50-plus majors and pre-professional programs. They’re taught and mentored by a faculty whose #1 priority is their students’ success. Students research, intern, and study abroad. And they get involved on campus, a place defined by honor and ethics. PC prepares students to be fulfilled personally and professionally so they can contribute to today’s global society.