‘It fills your heart’: Athletes in Cabarrus County compete in NC Special Olympics

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Athletes competed in the North Carolina Special Olympics for the first time in two years.

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“They’ve been very disappointed over the past couple of years,” teacher Christie Bumgardner said. “They look forward to this all year. We all do. It’s so much fun for them to be able to come out, showcase what they can do and just have fun.”

Spring Games 2022 kicked off Wednesday at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center where more than 800 athletes competed over two days.

On Wednesday, adult, middle and high school students participated in track and field.

Elementary school students played on Thursday.

Family members said they could feel the positive energy radiating from the track.


“The joy is overwhelming,” parent Alesia Anthony said. “It fills your heart. These kids are just unconditional. They give unconditional love all the time.”

This year also marks the 50th anniversary since the start of the Special Olympics competitions in Cabarrus County.

(Watch the video below: Community rallies around beloved local Special Olympics athlete in ICU battling COVID-19)