West Tennessee athletes compete in Special Olympics

JACKSON, Tenn. — Athletes from all over West Tennessee came to Jackson Thursday for the Special Olympics track and field events.

“I’m ready to do the march and stuff, and I’m going to do the running and throwing,” Elijah Bailey, an athlete from Lexington High School, said.

Students arrived by the bus load, registered for their events and then warmed up.

They kicked off the events with the lighting of the torch and a parade.

“It keeps them active. It shows them sportsmanship,” Special Olympics Area Director Randi Ezelle said. “Some of these students are very serious about their competition and about their training and stuff.”

Over 300 athletes competed in events including the long jump, 400-meter and softball throw.

Will Norwood goes to Pope School and was excited to watch his classmates compete.

“I think that this day is gonna be really good, and my class members are gonna win, and I think this is really fun,” Norwood said.

Another athlete, Ben, goes to Lexington Middle and competed in the 50-meter dash and softball throw.

“It’s a good day for us to come out here and be a champion,” Ben said.

The athletes also got to compete for some prizes in a carnival in their down time.

The winners of the games on Thursday will qualify for the state games in Nashville.

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