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Naval Academy Hosts Special Olympics

Posted on: May 01, 2014 08:00 EDT by Naval Academy Public Affairs

The Midshipman Action Group (MAG) at the U.S. Naval Academy hosted the Special Olympics on the Yard April 22-23.

The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them the opportunity to develop physical fitness, experience joy, share their personal skills, and demonstrate courage.

“The Naval Academy is the most sought after of any other sports venue throughout the area,” said Gregg Meade, the Special Olympics coordinator for Anne Arundel County.

The games kicked off Saturday, April 22, with the aquatics competitions which were held at Scott Pool in Lejeune Hall. Sunday's track and field day started with a few words from the Commandant of Midshipmen.

Nearly 500 midshipmen contributed 3,750 hours to help coordinate the event, including a training session held the week before, said Naval Academy Community Relations Director Miriam Stanicic.

“One hundred of those volunteers are Division I athletes whom Midshipman 1st Class Brendan West engaged in both days of Special Olympics activities,” said Stanicic.

MAG traditionally leads the volunteer charge for Special Olympics within the Brigade, and this year, the combination of MAG and varsity team captains helped make this the largest Special Olympic volunteer event in the past seven years.

The Annapolis Jaycees is a community partner that assists with the Special Olympics at USNA. This year, the Travis Manion Foundation also contributed more than 20 volunteers to assist with Saturday's aquatics events.

"I was humbled and inspired by all the athletes this weekend who came to the Naval Academy's Special Olympics,” said Marine Capt. Kenneth Tarr, the MAG officer representative for the event. “It was truly an honor to host the athletes, their families, and all of the volunteers. I know the 500 midshipmen volunteers who came to support their athletes over the course of the two days left with an experience they will never forget."

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