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May 20, 2009     The Arlington Times
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B8 -:o The Arlington Times/The Marysville Globe www.marysvilleglobe.com SPORTS www.arlingtontimes.com Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | by Kirk Boxleitner Marysville Special Olympian. "Instead of Steele's father, Tim Dreyer, deemed the Globe/Times Sports staying at home, they get some exercise. Special Olympics "a great outlet" for young .My daughter grew up with these kids. I athletes with a variety of disabilities. MARYSVILLE -- The Marysville- love this program,, and I hope it continues "It's for any kid with special needs, of Pilchuck High School soccer fields and for a long time." any ability level," Dreyer said. "It's impor- track stadium hosted a collection of excep- Christy Richey, Dana's daughter, tant for'anyone to feel that they can excel. tional athletes May 3, as the Special Olym- started competing in Special Olympics at ] hope it continues. It needs funding and pics of Washington staged their Regional the age of 12, and is now 21. To her, the more volunteers for these events." Spring Games. appeal is much simpler. Fellow Arlington resident Austin Wor- A number of Special Olympians from"I just like it," said Christy Richey, thing is also a relative newcomer to Special both Marysville and Arlington distin- whose favorite event is walking, although Olympics, having started just three years guished themselves, but all came away she's also competed in_running, basketball ago. He turned 15 May 11, just a few days with the lesson that good sportsmanship and the standing long jump. "I've made after the Regional Spring Games, where he is more important than how they place in new friends, and the coaches help us a took home a bronze in the softball throw competitions, lot." and a gold in the 25-meter dash. Nick Jenkins, a 22-year-old from Marys- Compared to some of his peers, 18-year- "I have nine gold medals, plus two ville, first entered the Special Olympics at old Charles Steele of Arlington is a rela- bronzes, a silver and a green ribbon," Aus- the age of 10. He placed first in shot put tive latecomer to Special Olympics, having tin Worthing said. ,It's cool that there's all May 3, but also competed in track, and only just started four years ago, but he will kinds of stuff you can enjoy. I get medals enjoys bowling, swimming and soccer, speak passionately and at length about its and good memories, and I like to run, even "It's helped me lose weight," said Nick merits, with my crutches. I love the attention." Jenkins, who was quick to share credit for "Every kid is special in some way," said Dawn Worthing, Austin's mother, has the Marysville Special Olympians' perfor- Steele, who received a silver for the 400- seen in increase in the number of local mance with his teammates. "I want to go meter run, but prefers shot put because it Special Olympics participants, which she to Fort Lewis again. I've gone before. I like works out his arms. "It's all about having believes helps make it more challenging being treated with respect." fun and trying your best. Special Olympics and rewarding. Darrell Jenkins, Nick's father, appreci- is my favorite sport. It's the coolest thing "It's good to see more involvement from ates what Special Olympics does for his ever, and I didn't even know about it before the community," Dawn Worthing said. son. I started doing it. I really love my team "Special Olympics boosts these kids' self- "He always looks forward to it," Darrell very much, and I like the exercise. I want esteem, and gives the families of children Jenkins said. "He likes the camaraderie, to do this when I'm 60 or 70 years old." with disabilities some time together." and it teaches him to push his limits. He "Charles is such a great sport," said also learns to be a good sport, whether he Sandy Catiis, coach of the Arlington Spe- wins or loses." cial Olympics track athletes. "If he gets a Contact Kirk Boxleitner "It helps these kids socialize more," bronze, he'll congratulate whoever got the at 360-435-5757or said Dana Richey, another parent of a gold." kboxleitner@arlingtontimes.com. KIRK BOXLEITNER Globe/Times Sports Arlington Specia! Olympian Austin Worthing, 15, took home a a bronze medal in the softball throw and a gold medal in the 25-meter dash, KIRK BOXLEITNER Globe/Times Sports Arlington Special Olympian Charles Steele, 18, proudly dis- plays his silver medal for the 400-meter run. KIRK BOXLEITNER Globe/Times Sports KIRK BOXLEITNERGIobe/TimesSports Marysville Special Olympian Nick Jenkins, 22, Marysville Special Olympian Christy Richey, 21, has made new friends placed first in shot put, but also competed in track, during her nine years of competing in Special Olympics. and enjoys bowling, swimming and soccer. 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