Special Olympics Day Games unites athletes with intellectual disabilities and athletes without intellectual disabilities. This year, the 2013 Attleboro Area School Day Games united even the most unlikely of rivals, Colin Quinn of the North Attleboro Red Rocketeers and Cody Freeman of the Attleboro Blue Bombardiers, through sportsmanship and love of the games.
Quinn and Freeman were selected back in November 2012 to be coordinators for the 2013 Day Games. Colin had volunteered at field events in the past, but had never been a coordinator and Freeman had never participated in Special Olympics before, so both were excited that this would be a new experience for them.
While planning the games, the two discovered that they both played lacrosse and the Day Games wouldn’t be the only game they would have to prepare for. The two soon realized they had an important rival game, between North Attleboro and Attleboro, just a day before the Southeast Sectional Day Games.
“Our focus continued to be on the Day Games, (despite the rivalry),” Quinn said.
On May 20th, the day before the Southeast Sectional Day Games, Quinn and Freeman were trying to complete every last detail before the big day, while also facing off in the anticipated lacrosse game. Just minutes before the two were still finishing last minute details and were able to release some stress they had built up over the months spent planning.
The Attleboro Blue Bombardiers won the game that day but, the boys realized that they both had won something more important: sportsmanship and learning to work together.
“It is incredible to see how all three schools that are archrivals, North Attleboro, Attleboro, and Bishop Feehan, work together in Project Unite (a group that organized the Southeast Sectional Day Games) to coordinated and awesome day for these amazing athletes,” said Quinn.
In the end this is a lesson that we hope people take from Day Games. It’s more than just winning and losing, and it’s bigger than a rivalry between two high schools. It’s about being able to play the game. Special Olympics embraces all abilities and gives people the opportunities to participate in sports, to demonstrate courage, experience joy, and form new friendships.
“Day Games are more than just a day of track and field events. Having the opportunity to be involved with Special Olympics is a life-changing and rewarding experience,” said Quinn and Freeman.