By BALEIGH BOND
Moapa Valley Progress
The Opening Ceremonies signaled the commencement of the Special Olympics Nevada Summer Games on Friday, June 9 in Reno. A torch lighting ceremony took place at that time, as well as a parade of athletes into the stadium. Included in those athletes were the Mesquite Special Olympics competitors. The Opening Ceremonies were well attended with roughly one hundred law enforcement volunteers on the premises.
The following day, the games began. Track and field events took place at Reno High School, and the bocce ball event was held at the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel.
Mesquite Special Olympics is composed of approximately 15 coaches and volunteers and 35 athletes. Nine of those 35 athletes made the trip up to Reno this year to play in the Summer Games.
In the past, the team has participated in bowling, basketball, and bocce ball events. And in the upcoming years of competing, a new addition will be added to the repertoire of events. There will be a newly instituted Mesquite track and field team beefing up the competition at next year’s Summer Games.
This year, a gold medal in bocce ball was brought home by one of the Mesquite teams. The gold-medalling team included Brooklyn Teeples, Nick Verruno, Jeremy Murray, Robert Howard, and Ramon Preciado.
Another bocce ball team from Mesquite worked hard and earned a silver in the event. Members of the silver team were Tammy Alexander, Jennifer Garber, Staci Hopper, and Nathan Abrams. All nine of the Mesquite competitors, who are named above, were part of the two medalling teams.
The Mesquite Special Olympics team Summer Games attendees put their best foot forward and went all the way this year. With two medals in tow, the competitors came home victorious.
With next year’s games on their radar, Mesquite Special Olympics is revving their engines and will be on the lookout for new and aspiring athletes to come into their ranks. The organization would love to grow and include qualifying members from Moapa Valley.
Questions about the program, or about joining the local team, can be directed to Debbie Dorn (program director) at 435-229-8540 or Brenda Bowler (volunteer) at 702-207-9615.