Hundreds of local student-athletes are preparing for the third annual Oswego County Olympiad Invitational, set for May 11 at John C. Birdlebough High School.
The event, similar to the Special Olympics, provides students with disabilities an opportunity to participate in dozens of athletic events.
Exceptional student-athletes representing all nine school districts in Oswego County, as well as the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, will compete in events such as adapted races, long jump, distance runs, and shot put.
“This gives the participants a platform to compete, have fun and form friendships throughout the day,” said event coordinator and Phoenix Central School District teacher Angie Neiss. “It’s a source of pride for the athletes and is an inspiration to everyone who is part of it.”
In addition to the track and field events, there will be a variety of side games, face painting and other activities held around the track area. Bottled water, fresh fruit, and other concession items will be available thanks to donations from community members and area sponsors.
“We are so grateful to our volunteers, sponsors and everyone involved in the Olympiad,” Neiss said. “We would also like to thank Fulton native Timothy Conners for being the master of ceremonies.”
Conners is a cancer survivor who lost his sight while battling T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Despite the adversity he has faced, Conners never let his disability take away from his abilities.
He trekked through the Grand Canyon and will tackle Mount Kilimanjaro at the end of May.
He’s hoping his story will inspire the Olympiad participants.
“What truly makes me happy is when I can use my story to inspire others to do incredible things,” Conners said. “No matter what barriers lie in your way, with the right mindset, nothing can stop you.”
Conners will help kick off the event at 10 a.m. with opening ceremonies.
For more information about the Oswego County Olympiad Invitational, or to donate and/or volunteer, please contact Neiss at [email protected]