Special Olympics New York

Last weekend was a special one for the Hudson Valley and the City of Poughkeepsie, home to this year’s Special Olympics New York. The State Winter Games are one of three annual state games and one of more than 4,000 total competitive experiences held each year throughout New York.  

The opening and closing ceremonies were held right here in our own backyard at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. I thought it would be a great idea to attend the closing ceremonies and let the competitors know about the Think Differently Dash!

When I first walked in I was actually kind of nervous. Everyone was dancing and eating with their medals around their necks, celebrating a beautiful weekend of friendly competition. I didn’t want to disturb anyone because they looked like they were having so much fun.

To my surprise, many individuals came up to me wondering what was on the flyers I had in hand. Everyone was so interested in the race and it made me feel even better knowing that the race was for THEM! This wasn’t some random race I wanted people to sing up for. The Think Differently Dash supports individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, so it was great to see high interest.

Fun Fact: In the 2011 Special Olympics World Games, the fastest time recorded in the Half-marathon was 1 hour and 12 minutes by Hormelys Pichardo of Cuba.