BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Special Olympics is an organization that allows people with disabilities to participate in all types of sports from basketball and cheerleading, to track and field. Across West Virginia, Special Olympic teams are preparing for the state competition in Morgantown in March.
Hank McGraw is an athlete for Fayette County. He said being on this team allowed him to grow friendships over the years.
“It’s fun to play with your friends cause you get to socialize more with them and everyone gets to have a good time, and that is what we are out here to play and have fun,” McGraw said.
Maggie Ashley has been a cheerleader for the Rockets team in Raleigh County for three years. She said she is looking forward to showing off her dance moves for the judges.
“I am looking forward to it every single day, I can’t wait, I can’t wait show the judges what we can do,” Ashley said. “And hopefully we can bring home a gold win, even if we don’t that’s okay we still love it and we’re just happy and I’m happy to be a part of that experience.”
While most of the athletes have been participating in Special Olympics for many years, this is Madison Athey’s first year coaching the cheerleading team. She said her team is made up of some of the most welcoming people she has ever met.
“They just hug on me all the time and I just really love them all,” Athey said. “I’ve like gotten in to having a relationship with all of them.”
Both Raleigh County and Fayette County Special Olympics teams will travel to Morgantown for the state competition on March 21, 2020.