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Camp Shriver makes for special days for the Special Olympics

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:23 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Special Olympics’ Camp Shriver is back in full swing this summer. It’s a full two weeks of a number of 16 different unified sports for both kids in special and general education courses. On Thursday, it was a gorgeous day for some flag football.

This year, organizers said there are 40 kids signed up. Usually, it’s a bit higher, but everyone in attendance said they are having a blast no matter what because it isn’t virtual anymore. Like Jonathan Hunter, who is headed to the USA Special Olympic Games in June 2022.

“I like doing this better because we’re around a lot of people. And virtual it’s kinda just boring at home sitting there on the computer,” Hunter said.

It’s an even split between general and special educations students. They get partnered up during camp.

Ashley Conlon is one of the partners.

“I wasn’t able to do Partner’s Club and get to know the athletes so now I’m here and I get to meet more athletes and partners and I’ll know more people going into school next year,” she said.

Organizers said the way they group the students together is always one of the best parts of Camp Shriver because of the bonds the kids make with each other before heading off to school in the Fall.

For flag football day, the kids got a special treat by meeting a few former stars for the Seattle Seahawks. Jim Zorn, Walter Jones, and Steve Hauschka.

They came and ran some drills with the kids at the beginning of the day and signed shirts, jerseys, hats, and anything else the children gave them.

The former Seahawks said they always love coming out to Special Olympics events, but Zorn pointed out that they know that they’re only making the kids’ day and aren’t the ones making the big differences in their lives.

“You know here I am. I come in and I leave. But the real work and the real tread is those people who last and who stay,” Zorn said.

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