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Athletes head home

July 28, 2010

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Team Vermont prepares to head home from the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.

The Cessna Airlift (Click here to see all our coverage) began at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning and continued through 4:30 p.m. with more than 170 Cessna Citation aircraft flying roughly 800 Special Olympics athletes and their coaches to their homes across the country. It was the final send-off event of the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Lincoln, Neb.

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A Cessna Citation jet takes off from the Lincoln Airport carrying Special Olympic athletes as part of the Cessna Airlift.

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Florida Special Olympics athletes check in for their flight home. Florida was the first team to leave Saturday morning.

Photos by Jerry Renaud begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Video by Barney McCoy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Basketball official reflects, looks forward to Athens

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Video by Farooq Baloch and Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Leonard “Spike” Bauroth first began officiating in 1954. He worked in the ACC and the Southern Conference until 1968. Then, he quit and took a 12 year break to be with his family.

In 1980, at age 50, Bauroth ran a marathon and decided to return to officiating. He said, “Anyone dumb enough to run 26 miles ought to be dumb enough to referee again.”

In 1987, Jackie Loube, the technical delegate for basketball for Special Olympics North America, took Bauroth to the Special Olympics World Games. Bauroth has officiated at every World Games since.

Bauroth has a loud voice and a strong presence on the basketball court, but his passion for Special Olympics reveals his softer side. “I get more than I give” he says of working with Special Olympics athletes.

At age 80, Bauroth knows he is lucky to be active and to be able to work with Special Olympics. He hopes to attend the Games in Athens, Greece, in 2011.



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Sights and sounds from the closing ceremony

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Video by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The closing ceremony displayed a final send-off for the athletes and fans who were a part of the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.



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Opening Eyes

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Video: Dora Lopez, UNL



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‘Be a fan’

July 27, 2010

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Video compiled by: Emily Bliss, UNL



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Special Olympics slideshow

 

 

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Slideshow by Chelsey Criner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Powerlifting — 7/25 PM session

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.”

Teamwork

Video and photos by Balsam Ali, UNL

Powering Through: The Story of Matt Jacobson

Video by Pat Radigan, UNL



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Special Olympic athletes inspire Colorado coach

July 26, 2010

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Darrius Roberts of Missouri sings national anthem

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Florida vs local team: the rematch

July 24, 2010

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Video by Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Team Florida played another exhibition game Friday, the last day of the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games. After impressive pool play during the tournament, Special Olympics officials decided to challenge the talented Floridians by having them play a team of local high school players.

Thursday, Team Florida impressed about 500 spectators as they won the game 48 to 37.

Friday, Team Florida demonstrated their talent by taking a 23 to 13 lead at the end of the first half. But, Team Florida grew fatigued and in the last minute of the game the local team took their first lead. In the end, Team Florida lost the game 37 to 36, but they earned the respect of all who watched the game.



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