Glenrock opens up venues for first time to host Special Olympics Area V Summer Games

Eddie Poe photos
Douglas athlete Jacob Nendza (left) shakes the hand of Glenrock Police Chief David Theel before receiving his medal after competing in the 25-yard freestyle at the Area V Summer Games last Saturday in Glenrock. A portion of the area Special Olympics games were hosted by Glenrock for the first time at the GHS track and Glenrock Intermediate School. 

Eddie Poe

Douglas athlete Erick Harmon pulled his body through the water at the Glenrock Intermediate School pool as family members and teammates loudly cheered him on. Two lanes over, teammate Colter Pollock trailed closely as both swimmers inched their way toward the wall.
This was the scene for the Division 7 race in the 25-yard freestyle at the swimming portion of last Saturday’s Area V Summer Games in Glenrock. The games brought together Special Olympics athletes from Casper, Douglas and Carbon County.
Powerlifting was held at Kelly Walsh High School on Friday, while basketball, swimming and track were held in Glenrock on Saturday. It marked the first time that Converse County No. 2 School District opened up its doors to host a portion of the games.
“Overall the games were very successful,” said Dan Lang, Director of Field Services for Special Olympics Wyoming. “Glenrock made sure we had everything we needed. We had plenty of volunteers. It went just as well as we could have imagined.”
Douglas assistant coach Melissa Deming echoed Lang’s sentiment after her team competed in Glenrock for the first time.
“We’ve never swam in Glenrock,” she said. “But I really felt that they did a good job of opening their doors and providing a venue.”
The school district’s Special Education Director, Christine Harris, spoke to athletes and family members prior to the start of Saturday’s games and expressed her enthusiasm for bringing the games to Glenrock.
“We are so excited to have you here,” Harris said. “We hope to do this again here. Please give a round of applause to the athletes, families, support staff and volunteers.
“Enjoy the games and good luck.”
Converse County School District No. 2 has been without a Special Olympics program for the past few years, partly due to a lack of sponsorship, but also due to the monumental task of finding someone to take over the program. It’s a role that requires a lot of an individual. 
“I feel it would be nice to have a program for any individual of any age that would like to participate,” Harris said.
Harris is now in her fourth year as the Special Education Director with the district, and she’s already voiced the desire to not only Superintendent Coley Shadrick, but also Lang.
“I know Coley and Dan talked a lot about it before the games and I think we were all hoping it would help generate some enthusiasm,” she said. “You could tell the athletes appreciated us hosting the games and I think it went smoothly.”
According to Lang, if timing works out, Special Olympics Wyoming is hopeful to return to Glenrock next year for the games.
It would be a step in the right direction for the district and could be a true launching point to help bring back the program for a community that Harris acknowledges has already expressed interest.
“I’ve already offered up to hold the games anytime,” Harris noted. “We’d be more than willing to open our doors.
“I love these kids.”


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Subscriber Login