By Staff Sgt. Jennifer C. Johnson, JFHQ-NCR/MDW Public AffairsMay 28, 2014
WASHINGTON (May 28, 2014) -- Military and federal employees from around the National Capital Region provided volunteer support during Military Day at the annual Special Olympic summer games hosted by Special Olympics D.C., at the Catholic University in Washington D.C., May 21, 2014.
A 4 x 100 meter relay race featuring teams pairing two military and two Special Olympics sprinters kicked off the day's events.
"All of the athletes really brought their A games today," said Command Sgt. Maj. David O. Turnbull, Joint Force Headquarters -- National Capital Region/ U.S. Army Military District of Washington senior enlisted advisor, and Army relay teammate. "This was a great opportunity to support these wonderful athletes and give them a chance to be a part of the team by representing a military service."
Founded in 1968, the Special Olympics provides sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and their communities.
Before the relay, the Special Olympic sprinters were given a T-shirt that designated what military branch they were competing for. Friendly banter between the military participants helped to heighten the competitive spirit of the sprinters.
At the end of the relay race, it was the Army in first place, followed by the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and then the Navy.
Other events held that day included shot put, mini javelin, running long jump, standing long jump, softball throw and tennis ball throw. More than 600 athletes participated in this year's Special Olympic summer games from more than 40 different schools.
"Overall, this is a very rewarding program as a volunteer or as someone participating in an event," said Turnbull. "All the service members and sprinters did an amazing job in the relay. It was great to see these athletes excel while have a great time."