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Powerlifting — 7/25 PM session

July 27, 2010

Alabama power lifter with visual impairment takes home four golds

Video by Balsam Ali, UNL

Powerlifting event special for all involved

By Balsam Ali

After the weights were put away and the medals awarded, all that remained for the volunteers and officials involved with Thursday’s powerlifting competition were happy memories.

For some, that’s more than enough.

“It was definitely worth it just got to get be on stage and experience those moments with them,” said volunteer Sarah Wick. “Just feeling the excitement when they made their lifts made it something I will never forget.”

While the powerlifting event at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games is driven by the performance of the athlete, the success of the event relies on the efforts of a number of volunteers. And it isn’t just those on stage helping with the competition. It’s the people backstage supervising the athletes, and the greeters in the family lounge serving water and getting to know the athletes families.

Wick, who spots the athletes in their lift attempts, said overall it’s a special event for all involved.

“No matter what you are doing it’s been a special personal experience,” Wick said. “Just getting to meet these athletes is an experience in itself, and knowing we are helping to keep the event running makes you proud of the time and energy put in.”

In addition to the competition, volunteers have also found enjoyment in the nightly award ceremonies. Volunteers and significant contributors to the games dole out the medals as an announcer reads off the names to a soundtrack of inspiring music. Even celebrities like former American Idol contestant Michael Sarver made a trip to the venue to hand out awards to the athletes.

The emotional atmosphere of the medal ceremony is the reason Wick said she helped out with the event. She witnessed the medal ceremony the day before she was scheduled and said she decided to stick around and help out because it was such a moving experience.

“Seeing them posing on stage and dancing in celebration is an emotional moment,” Wick said. “It made the work more than worth the time.”


Video and photos by Balsam Ali, UNL

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Video by Pat Radigan, UNL

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