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June 22, 2010 > Special Olympics athletes receive top honors

Special Olympics athletes receive top honors

By Shavon Walker
Photos By Shavon Walker

Union City City Council honored members of the Union City Lightning Track and Field Team on June 15, 2010 for their performance at the 2010 East Bay Special Olympics Tournament, held at Amador Valley High School on May 22.

"We had approximately 30 athletes participate," said Cindy Lamm, one of the many coaches for the team. "They all performed superbly and returned with many medals. Jesus De Leon, Sebastian Torres, Erika Lamm, Cesar Cunningham, Jonathan Nguyen, Alex Hovan, Darin Star and Donald Frazier all won the gold for their team."

The Union City Lightning Track and Field Team was created earlier this year by Union City Leisure Services and the Special Olympics Northern California as one of a number of sports programs geared toward developmentally disabled children, aged eight years and older. James Logan High School's Track and Field Coach Lee Webb, along with Lamm and Bob Han, helped prepare the team for competition.

Six of the athletes were chosen to compete at the Summer Games, which will take place from June 25 to June 27 at UC Davis. They will compete with more than 900 other athletes from Northern California. Sports will include aquatics, bocce, tennis and track and field.

"Special thanks to Coach Webb for leading us through another great season," said Lamm. "We thank him for his generosity in providing the entire team with t-shirts in memory of Zac Grow, who was one of the original Track and Field team members and who passed away last year. He is fondly remembered by all of his teammates."

The Special Olympics were created by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the early 1960s. It was originally a day-camp for young people with special needs. The concept took root and the first international Special Olympics was held in Chicago in 1968. More than 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada participated. To date, there are chapters in every state and in more than 140 countries worldwide.

To learn more, visit www.SpecialOlympics.org/. For more information about East Bay Special Olympics, visit www.sonc.org/regions/region_eb.html.

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