Special Olympics gearing up for national & international competition
Special Olympians training on the malae in Fagatogo begins this Thursday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. as Special Olympics American Samoa (SOAS) is gearing up to get their athletes ready for the Special Olympic World Games that will be held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles next summer from July 25 to August 8.
According to the American Samoa Special Olympics Committee (ASSOC), in preparation for sending athletes to the games next year, they will also be holding National Games here this year on August 18 and 19. August 18 will be the day they place athletes in divisions of competition according to their capabilities in track and field.
Then on August 19 the competition will commence where the athletes are competing against those of similar strengths and capabilities. They will be matched up for the 50, 100 and 200 meters, as well as the long jump, shot put and discus throw.
The Association noted they will also be sending a soccer team to Los Angeles, and they will be choosing the team soon.
The American Samoa Track and Field Association stated that they would be assisting ASSOC with athlete training in preparation for the games next year. They said they are spreading the word to parents, caregivers and special needs persons both young and old, to let them know that they are here to help them if they want to be part of the Special Olympics next year and the Nationals this summer.
Last year, 12 American Samoa Special Olympic athletes competed in the Asia Pacific Regional Games in Australia where they earned 2 golds, 8 silvers and 2 ribbons.
According to the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 official website, www.la2015.org, there will be 7,000 Special Olympic athletes from 177 countries, 30,000 volunteers, 3,000 coaches and 500,000 spectators.