SANFORD, Maine –25 talented athletes made their way to Orono this past weekend to represent Waban at the 2019 Maine Special Olympics. Waban’s Olympians competed in a variety of events, from the softball toss to the long jump. Many of the athletes brought home medals for their hard work, but everyone left with a smile.
Prior to their Friday departure, Waban’s Olympians were recognized by the Sanford and North Berwick Police Departments through their joint participation in the 2019 Special Olympics Torch Run. Making their way from Downtown Sanford, Sanford Police met North Berwick Police at the top of Dunaway Drive, Waban’s home campus, to pass the Flame of Hope off for the next leg of its trip.
Waban’s Olympians were then treated to an honorary breakfast on Friday, June 7. Athletes were joined by their families and staff to celebrate their success and wish them luck in the weekend’s competition. “All of us here at Waban are so proud of our athletes,” noted Waban’s Executive Director Neal Meltzer as he joined the celebration. “Their dedication and perseverance continue to inspire us and serves as reminder to us all that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.”
Following their breakfast, Waban’s Olympians hit the road to Orono in style, sporting their Waban gear in a coach bus fit for champions—all thanks to funds generated from Waban’s Annual Golf Tournament.
At the games, Waban’s Olympians competed in individual events throughout the weekend—many receiving medals and ribbons for their achievements. Athletes were joined by 13 Waban staff members, their families, and even past staff members who made the trip to Orono to cheer on their old teams. The dedication Waban’s Olympians showed this weekend perfectly embodied the Special Olympics’ motto, “Let me Win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
“Although the events of the games are considered individual sports, the Waban team truly acts as one,” said Kim Lowell, a Waban staff member who attended the games. “No athlete went without a cheering section—everyone celebrated each other’s accomplishments no matter how big or small.”