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Broken Arrow Special Olympians bring home hardware after 49th annual Summer Games

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Not even warm and muggy Oklahoma temperatures could keep thousands of athletes, coaches and volunteers from traveling to Stillwater, Okla., for the 49th annual Special Olympics Summer Games May 16-18. 

After three days of exciting Olympic-style competitions and ceremonies, 88 Broken Arrow Special Olympians in grades 3-12 took the games by storm and brought home 18 gold medals, 28 silver and 16 bronze.

“We are so very proud of all the hard work our athletes and partners put into the team this year, which is clearly evident in the amount of medals and awards that we brought back with us to Broken Arrow,” said Katie Fly, Special Olympics coach and Broken Arrow Freshman Academy teacher.

Every year, Special Olympians from across Oklahoma compete in activities that range from bocce ball to a number of track and field events. Athletes come from 14 geographic areas of Oklahoma where they have completed competitions in their local cities.

Seventeen coaches, more than 150 family members and 38 peer partners attended the games to cheer on Broken Arrow’s Special Olympians.

“Our Special Olympics athletes, peer partners and coaches engage tirelessly to keep Broken Arrow at the top of the heap in each competition,” Special Education Director of Secondary Education Eric O’Brien said. “Everyone in the BA family continues to be inspired by their comradery, their enthusiasm and their excellence.”

Not only did students compete in athletic events, but they also partook in many social activities.

“The summer games allow our students to not only make gains in athleticism but also in social skills by competing with students from all across the state,” Fly said. “Our students are well known around Oklahoma for showing fantastic sportsmanship, which was evident throughout the summer games.”