Graceland hosted over 150 Special Olympics athletes and their coaches and families Saturday, April 13, for the 2019 South Central Area Spring Games for Special Olympics Iowa. The sun came out and the wind died down to make it a beautiful day for competition. The athletes ran, walked, threw and jumped in an effort to qualify for the state games in May. Graceland has hosted the Spring Games since 2010.
This event brings out the best in Graceland and the community. From facility services and athletic staff preparing the field and track to the community, staff and student-athletes who volunteered throughout the day, this Special Olympics event has also become a Graceland event. This year, Graceland student-athletes from men's and women's basketball, cheer, dance, football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's volleyball, and wrestling joined faculty and staff from several divisions and offices on the Lamoni campus to make this event a wonderful experience for all.
"The experience our student-athletes gain from their involvement in this amazing event on our campus is right in line with Graceland’s core values: learning, wholeness and community, and it provides them with another amazing opportunity to grow beyond their sport or their classes and to learn the value of giving back to their community," shared Graceland Athletic Director Brady McKillip. "We’re proud of them, and we’re grateful for the partnership with Special Olympics that brings us all together each year."
Here are some testimonials about how much the Graceland participation in this event means to people who experience it:
On Saturday, we attended the special Olympics track and field meet at Graceland University. My son participated and we both had a wonderful time! Your athletes and the other Graceland volunteers were absolutely fabulous! Their enthusiasm, patience, and positivity was truly amazing. I am grateful for all of you and my son and I will never forget our experience there. God bless you all and thank you so much! So proud to be a part of the Graceland family.
As a Special Olympics coach and Mama....we are so grateful for this day with your students and staff!! They are beyond amazing!!! This event is one of the highlights for our Wayne athletes due to Graceland University's love and kindness!!!!
This is one of the most memorable experiences I have visiting your campus. Thank you for supporting Special Olympics!❤️❤️