On Tuesday’s sunny morning, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary student-athlete Jamie’s words boomed across Acalanes High School’s football stadium loudspeaker: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Those words – known as the Special Olympics athlete oath – set the tone for Bay Area Games, for bravery was the only thing that mattered.
Physical and intellectual disabilities faded to the wayside when more than 500 Special Olympics Northern California student-athletes receiving special education services competed in track & field events as part of the fourth annual Bay Area Games. In one of the highlights of the invitational, students with and without intellectual disabilities were more than just students who attend the same school – they became teammates.
After the Bay Area’s first-ever Unified race was held at the 2014 Bay Area Games, the Unified component was back and bigger for 2015. Thirty students receiving special education competed alongside 30 general education, non-disabled students as partners in Unified 4×100 track relays.
The Unified races were just one of the many high points of Bay Area Games, which is hosted by Special Olympics Northern California and sponsored by Chevron. The 2015 Bay Area Games was the fourth annual interscholastic competition created specifically for special education students-athletes and their general education peers – all of whom currently participate in the Special Olympics Northern California’s Schools Partnership Program.
Students in kindergarten through post-high school transition from Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties made the trip to Lafayette to participate in the track & field invitational. Also accompanying the students were teachers and aides – who serve as coaches – as well as general education students, friends and family members, who cheered on their favorite student-athletes. After competing in track & field events, every student-athlete was recognized for their achievements by having a Special Olympics Bay Area Games medal draped around their necks by Bay Area law enforcement.
We had an absolute blast! To see more about Bay Area Games, click here.
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To download photos below or any of them from Our Unified Games, right click and save to your desktop. If you’re on a Mac, control click and save to desktop. There are more stellar photos on our Flickr — click here to see! All photos taken by the marvelous Kelley Cox of klc fotos! To see the photos below bigger, just click on one and start scrolling!