EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – People from all across the Mahoning Valley, especially from Columbiana County, gathered Saturday to encourage some very special athletes.
Over 300 athletes from six different area schools competed as part of the 46th annual Columbiana County Special Olympics. The event was hosted by the Beacon Association for a third consecutive year at East Liverpool High School.
The day featured events of all kinds for all types of athletes, from running and throwing to events for athletes in both wheelchairs and motorized wheelchairs.
Brian Vaughn, president of The Beacon Association, and other event organizers said there can never be enough support.
“I feel that the awareness should be spread for these athletes. You can never have too many people cheering them on,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn continued to explain that though the participants only spend a few hours a year with the volunteers and spectators, they form close bonds with the people that support them.
“You know, they’re extra special because of the obstacles they’ve overcome just to be here today. You know, we really shouldn’t be looking down on these athletes, we should be looking up to them for what they show us each year, every year,” Vaughn said.