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Special Olympics In Orono This Weekend

Photo by Vilanova i la Geltru, Flickr

Don’t be surprised if you see a group of police cars passing through your community this weekend. Members of law enforcement are carrying the Olympic Torch to Orono, as the Special Olympics Summer Games are set to begin.

The Olympic torch is scheduled to arrive in the Bangor area at around 2 Friday afternoon, so don’t be alarmed when you see those flashing blue lights. A big thank you needs to go out to local law enforcement members who not only carry that torch, but also hold fundraisers all year to make the games a reality.

Special Olympians will take part in competitions all weekend, with some getting started as early as Thursday. Lisa Bird of Special Olympics Maine says the competitions are great, but the weekend is about so much more than that.

“All of the meals that they’re able to share together, staying in the dorms which is a lot of fun for our athletes to be able to just hang out in a dorm room and be there with their friends for the entire weekend, going to the dance. You know, we have an Olympic village full of games and fun and entertainment. There’s so many things going on in addition to the sporting events that it’s just really a fun-filled weekend for everyone.”

Rain is in the forecast for much of the weekend, but Lisa says that won’t stop the Special Olympics, since there is no rain date. Olympians look forward to this all year and their families take the weekend off, making it impossible to reschedule.

“We are going to include as many events as we possibly can, despite the weather. We do have a lot of things going on indoors, we might be able to switch a few things around, so the games are a ‘go’ no matter what and we will cancel events accordingly, if needed for the safety of our athletes. But the event is on and the dance, of course will never be canceled. So we look forward to seeing everyone up there despite the weather that’s coming our way.”

The Special Olympics summer games will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the University of Maine’s Orono campus. Volunteers are always needed and Lisa says folks should check out the organization’s Facebook page for more information on getting involved.

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