are gearing up for the Special Olympics local summer games. Volunteer coaches
are busy preparing athletes for the competition, which is just a couple of
weeks away. The event will kick off with a five-kilometer torch run.
The May 16th event will begin with a
torch run, a fundraising event sponsored by local law enforcement and benefiting
the Special Olympics. Dan Canavan is the community director for Kodiak community
Special Olympics. He described the torch run as a 5K "fun run," in which
participants gather pledges to compete.
sec. "It's a nationwide event
... fundraising portion of it.")
Canavan said that he struggles with
public relations and finding volunteers to coach and perform other duties
necessary to sustain a full-range of events, partly because Special Olympics events
take place year round.
sec. "Special Olympics is kind
of ... active in the community.")
After the torch run, the local
summer games begin, with events including power lifting, aquatics and
individual skills basketball. Chris Provost, who teaches reading at East
Elementary, is the basketball coach. He said athletes have the opportunity to
earn two medals in the event.
-- (Provost 1 52
sec. "Speed dribble is its own
... get down those 10 meters.")
who has been involved with Special Olympics in some capacity since 1974 in Montana, came to Kodiak
in 1984 and immediately began participating here. He said the local event is
important, because athletes have the opportunity to qualify for the national
event and beyond. He also said that there are strict guidelines on practice
time in order to qualify nationally in a given event.
-- (Provost 3 34
sec. "They have to qualify ...
until the state competition.")
all, Canavan estimates that 25 to 30 athletes will participate in the local summer
games. The State Summer Games take place in Anchorage June12th through 14th,
and Canavan expects about 1,000 participants. Through the statewide
competition, athletes can qualify to compete in Special Olympics International
World Summer Games.