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SISD Spring Games at the SAC

It was a special day for special needs athletes, the 32nd annual James Butler Spring Special Olympics took place at the Socorro Athletics Complex.

Hundreds athletes gave 100 percent and left it all out on the track.

Many of these families were told by doctors that their child would never run, walk or compete in any way. Much less the Special Olympics!

That’s why when mother’s like Ruby Espejo watches her daughter compete, it feels her heart with tremendous pride.

“When she was little they did not think she would walk on her own. So when they see her they are like, Oh my God” Espejo said.

Regardless though of what place the athletes finished, everyone received a hug and a medal.

Bill Dempsey, a fire fighter with the White Sands Missile Range met the sprinters at the finish line with words of encouragement and a hug.

Dempsey said, “We are huggers, we hug the kids as soon as they cross the finish line. We encourage them and make sure they have a good time.”

The classes that attended the event thought they were going a field trip. They were very surprised when they found out their fellow classmates were actually competing!

“They had no idea they were any differences in the classroom and Im still not sure if they have any idea that they know there are any differences in the classroom. They think they are here just to see their teammates race.” Said Gina Panfile, a teacher at Hurshel Antwine.

The runners had a great amount of support. There were cheer leaders and even a drumline!

It was a day full of high fives and smiles.

The gymnastics competition will be held at Hanks High School on Friday the 6th of April.

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