On to State

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Nick Olson gives a smile and a thumbs up as he carries the Special Olympics torch in a parade Thursday through Webster City.

“Let me win, but if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

— Special Olympics motto

Athletes from all over Hamilton County converged upon Jefferson Gym at the Webster City Middle School Thursday for a grand sendoff to the state Special Olympics games.

The teams of athletes from South Hamilton Schools, Stratford Community School, Sunset Heights Elementary, the middle school, high school and Friends Forever, waved as they marched into the gym. Hundreds of their classmates, friends and families filled the bleachers and cheered for the athletes.

Gianna Borer, a WCHS student, sang “The Star Spangled Banner” as those present saluted the flag. The South Hamilton athletes led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance.

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Seth Clausen waves to the crowd as he rides on a float with his fellow Friends Forever Special Olympics athletes. The athletes took part in a sendoff before heading out to the state games at Iowa State University in Ames.

Representatives of each team spoke to the audience and introduced their teammates and coaches.

Becky Laube, a global messenger for Special Olympics, led the group in the Special Olympics motto.

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt,” she proclaimed to the crowd.

Members of local law enforcement delivered the official Special Olympics torch to the ceremony to celebrate the games, scheduled for Thursday through Saturday at Iowa State University in Ames.

To conclude the program, the athletes, led by police cars, emergency vehicles and the middle school band, paraded down Des Moines Street through downtown, waving at business owners and shoppers who stepped out of stores to watch the procession. The group ended the parade at West Twin Park.

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Members of the high school Special Olympics team march in the parade Thursday morning.

— Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Anne Blankenship
The middle school band marched and performed for the crowds watching the parade Thursday,

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