Mishawaka High School celebrates Special Olympics Unified Champions Day

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Some amazing athletes at Mishawaka High School took part in the Special Olympics Unified Champions Day on Tuesday.

16 News Now’s Photojournalist Tyler Woods witnessed Tuesday’s action.

‘“We started in 2017 so this is our first annual event celebrating the inclusion, cooperation, and collaboration between our students with disabilities and their general education peers,” said Barb Michalos, the Director of Exceptional Learns in School City of Mishawaka. “They are competing against each other today in this inclusive environment. This inclusive track meet that includes hurdles, running, obstacle course, softball throw, and long jump.”

Unified Champion Schools promotes social inclusion by bringing together young people with and without disabilities on sports teams, through student clubs and community-wide initiatives.

“Their families, their friends, their teachers, all the people who have worked so hard to prepare for this day,” Michalos continued. “The kids as you can see are very very excited and thrilled to be competing against their general education friends. This forges life long friendships.”

Game Days are Special Olympics events at schools throughout the state for students who have participated in Unified Champion Schools programming.

“It’s really awesome to be here,” said Dallas Hagers, a student at Mishawaka High School. “When I ever see my friends, I need to go faster for them. It’s like, they’re my team, I have to lift them up.”

Some of the competitions held on Tuesday included hurdles, running, obstacle courses, softball throwing, and long jump.

“Mishawaka particularly on the Unified Games day for the little kids, really goes out of the way to make it a big event that feels like a big event,” said Buzz Lail, the Director of Programs for Special Olympics Indiana.

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