A chilly day doesn’t stop Special Olympics events in Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG, P.A. --- On a chilly day Thursday, John Harris High School hosted the fifteenth annual Track and Field Fun Day for the Special Olympics.

While it is spring, contestants and spectators, alike, were bundled up for an April Winter Olympics.

"It's freezing. The kids are cold and we're all cold but I think when they're running and having fun, they just forget about it," said Foose Elementary teacher Lydia Heischman.

The event hosted athletes between the ages of six and 21 who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities to wheelchair-bound disabilities.

Yolanda Goodwin-Humphrey, the director of special education for the Harrisburg School Distirct, said it's been a struggle to get gold-medal weather over the last handful of years.

"This is like my fifth year and we've only had one year where we've had warm weather so we're thinking of taking this to the fall," said Goodwin-Humphrey, with a laugh.

She also said they made sure competitors weren't caught off guard by the cold.

"We sent out a ConnectED early this morning to tell the parents please dress your kids warmly because the weather has changed," said Goodwin-Humphrey.

Sprinters like Camp Curtain Academy seventh grader Shakur Baskerville had to overcome the chilly challenge to get their best time possible.

"I think it slowed me down a little bit but I was trying to push," said Baskerville, winner of a 100 meter dash.

Others, like Camp Curtain Academy sixth grader Tywon Turner, said Mother Nature did not pose a threat as a competitor.

"No it doesn't...No it doesn't. I feel confident, too," said Turner.

The winner of several events Thursday move on to the next round of the Special Olympics at Messiah College on April 19.

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