Special Olympics State Basketball Games
One of the best opportunities for the residents of Rainbow Acres is participation in Special Olympics events. The Special Olympics not only allows athletes to showcase their skills and abilities, but it also promotes inclusion and acceptance. This spirit of togetherness is never more obvious than when the athletes interact. They cheer each other on regardless of team affiliation.
This year, bad weather resulted in the cancellation of our basketball regionals. The cancellation automatically qualified all Rainbow Acres athletes to compete at the state level. They eagerly did so on March 9 and 10 at Bell Bank Park in Phoenix, AZ.
Twenty-four Ranchers from Rainbow Acres joined with Verde Valley athletes to form three teams. After several practices throughout January and February, they were ready to take on their competition.
Prior to playing, the teams warmed up on one of twelve indoor courts housed within the brand-new Bell Bank Park, a 320-acre venue designed to provide families with a safe, friendly, and high-quality environment.
Each team played two games on Thursday and three on Friday. In each game, they showed tremendous teamwork and fair play. They hung in there, even as several of the games were a close thing. Our athletes played their hearts out, using every skill they had as they competed against challenging opponents.
Rainbow Acres Adult Athelets Medaled at the Special Olympics
Their hard work and perseverance paid off. The teams earned two bronze and one silver medal, taking the podium to receive their medals with great pride.
The accomplishments of the athletes went beyond the medals, though, as the attitude and support among the players was outstanding. Throughout the games, there was a high level of sportsmanship and encouragement, which only helped them succeed. Most notably, the athletes played through intense noise and chaos in an unfamiliar space housing twelve simultaneous basketball games and a volleyball tournament at the far end. They remained focused and positive despite overwhelming stimulation.
One particular player showed extraordinary composure in a stressful situation, maintaining a calm attitude and keeping another athlete safe. His commitment and resilience demonstrated the spirit of the Rainbow Acres athletes and was a shining example to the other players.
During the event, the athletes stayed at a hotel in Mesa and enjoyed dinners at In-N-Out Burger and Culver’s. This was the first time in four years that the team had traveled away from campus for games, making the experience even more special.
The athletes thoroughly enjoyed themselves, relishing the chance to compete and connect with others who share their passion for sports. Everyone had a great time playing the games, enjoying their time with friends, and cheering each other on.
Special Olympians Return to Camp Verde, AZ with Pride and Accomplishment
At the end of this remarkable trip, Rainbow Acres’ athletes returned home with a sense of accomplishment and pride. They had worked hard to prepare for the Special Olympics State Games, and their dedication and commitment paid off. The following week, they showed off their medals and shared the excitement that competing brought to them with all who would listen.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this event possible, including the organizers, volunteers, coaches, and supporters. Your generosity and dedication to the Special Olympics program is truly inspiring, and we are grateful for your contributions.
At Rainbow Acres, we believe that every individual has the potential to succeed and shine. Our athletes embody this spirit, and we look forward to supporting them in their future endeavors, on and off the court. We are immensely proud of each and every one of our athletes for their hard work and determination.
The next Special Olympics event will be Track and Field.