Photo gallery: Anderson School Olympics
SAN BERNARDINO - It's a heart thing.
After the Parade of Champions and a Torch Relay Friday, Anderson School's Olympics featured track-and-field events - relays, a 100-meter dash and long jump, but the most powerful component was the heart connection.
For Anderson's young people, all with disabilities, their efforts were about trying, having fun and feeling good about themselves.
Anderson students themselves presented the Opening Ceremonies for their 11th annual Olympic Games. For
Teacher Julie Chesney, who served as master of ceremonies, helped student Alfredo Yanez in recitation of the poignant Olympics Oath, "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. "
Chesney said, "I am a teacher first and foremost and this is my passion, my challenge, The untapped potential in every student is there and I like the challenge of reaching that poetential and bringing it out. It doesn't have to be academically, but behavior and social appropriateness, so students can go out with their families and take the skills we generate in class out into the world. "
The games and events were staged on Anderson's school grounds where a gallery of families, friends and volunteers from San Gorgonio and Pacific High Schools, Cal State San Bernardino and local motorcycle clubs cheered on the athletes.
Tami Bence, whose 15-year-old son Arron, participated in the events, said the 10th-grader is proud of his medals.
"He still wears his medals - they mean a lot to him," the San Bernardino woman said,
Nick Cataldo, a
"The kids all love the games and are very supportive of each other," he added. "They display great sportsmanship. "
The support could be seen as students gave each other pats on the back before races, then hugged and congratulated each other afterwards.
Reach Michel via email, find her on Twitter @michelnolan, or call her at 909-386-3859.