FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Students of all ages packed the Mary Persons High School track Friday to participate in this year's Monroe County Special Olympics. It's the day where students with disabilities become Olympic champions and everyone gets the gold.
"I like running," athlete Raekum Lundy said.
"I like jumping and running at the same time," athlete Eric Waggle said.
"I'm doing the 200 meter run around the track," athlete Taziya Brown said.
"I'll do the 100 meter," athlete Aziya Brown said.
There were several different events the students could participate in.
"We've got the running long jump,the 50 meter, the 100 meter, the softball throw, the standing long jump," Anna Beth Shepard, the special Olympics sponsor for Hubbard Elementary, said. "We've just got a bunch of track events going on out here."
"Im going to do the running long jump, which is my favorite," athlete Haleigh Williams said. "Everyone calls me the queen of the running long jump."
"What's the best part about being out here?" 41NBC's Amanda Castro asked. "To have fun," Aziya Brown said.
"Today is all about celebrating the athletes and their uniqueness and not letting anything hold them back," Shepard said. "It's just all about celebrating them and them having a great time."
And the student athletes look forward to the event every year.
"They love it. It's great," Shepard said.
"Do you do any training, do you stretch or do anything during the year to prep for the Olympics?" Castro asked. "Yes, lift weights, Lundy said. "Push ups," Waggle said.
The Olympics is an opportunity for these students to have fun and be a winner.
"These are students that struggle academically and for them to come out here and be able to be successful at running and jumping and throwing a ball, it's just a good experience for them to show they can be good at something," Shepard said.
"Doesn't matter who wins or lose as long as you have a fun time," Aziya Brown said.
These student athletes will compete in the area Special Olympic games at Mount de Sales in April. Shepard says some will go on to play in the state Special Olympics at Emory University in May.