Bay County Students Participate in Special Olympics

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PANAMA CITY -- Some special children got the chance to once again compete in a unique program at the Tommy Oliver Stadium today.

Organizers staged the annual Special Olympics this morning. The event has been taking place here since 1972.

Each year at the Special Olympics, organizers recruit volunteers with one cheer.

The athletes also get a lot of support from family, friends and coaches.

"I get cheered make me run more faster,” said Runner Zykeria Burch

Friday was Zykeria Burch's first time participating in the Special Olympics.

She ran in two events, the 200 and 400 meter dash.
"When I get to running on the whole track like this i get tired quick and it makes me stop,” said Burch.

Kenia Phillips has been Zykeria's mentor for the past two years.

"We help them run and support them while they're here and we work with them throughout the year and we been training leading up to this event," Phillips said.

Bay County Special Olympics Spokeswoman Norma Hood said, “Just competing and feeling like a team, you know and just, just the teamwork the team spirit it's true team spirit it's true team work you know."

Zykeria and her co-Olympians say they look forward to participating in future Olympic Games.

"I just support go Mustangs,” she said.

The winners from today's local competition will move on to the Area Games in Marianna for the chance to go to the state games in Orlando.

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