Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
May 15, 1998

Volunteers thrive on Special Olympics as much as athletes

by Linda Charles

Cathy Terrell will be volunteering at the Special Olympics Summer Games again this year. She wouldn't miss it for the world.

Terrell, program assistant in the athletic department, has volunteered every year for nine years, even during the time she left Iowa State to take a job in Kansas. She used vacation time to travel back to Iowa to be with her "family."

"People there say, 'We have Special Olympics in Kansas.' But I said, 'This is my family, I'm going home for a reunion.' I think there's something special about the Special Olympics here," Terrell said.

"It kind of grows on you," she added. "I enjoy working with the athletes. They remember you from year to year."

Terrell coordinates all of the relay events and most of the track events during the Special Olympics.

"When 900 are running in the races, it gets complicated," she said. "But it's a lot of fun. A lot of work, but a lot of fun."

The Special Olympics kicks off with opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Trice Stadium. A free picnic precedes the event at 5 p.m. in the south stadium parking lots S2 and S3. Athletic events continue all day Friday, May 21, and Saturday morning, May 22. (A schedule of events is on page 8.)

Founded in 1968, the Iowa Special Olympics provides sports training and athletic competition to mentally handicapped athletes of all ages. Volunteers provide a variety of services, such as fielding softballs, congratulating partici- pants and escorting them to award areas.

More than 2,600 athletes will participate in this year's two- day event and more than 1,200 volunteers are needed, said Lana Voga, customer relations specialist with printing services and Special Olympics university games chair.

Volunteers are needed for setup Thursday morning, during the competitions and at the Olympics Festival, which offers entertainment, sports clinics and craft making. Volunteers may work either a half or full day and need no special training. Interested persons should call the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau, 232-4032.

Wallace Road will be closed on Thursday and Friday from Maple-Willow-Larch to the Lied Center for the games, Voga noted. Parking Lot 100 (the pay lot by the recreation center) will have controlled parking, as will Lot 6 by Beyer. Permit holders may use Lots 57 and 50a/b.

"We're asking everyone to be patient and understanding of the situation with parking and the closed street," Voga said.

Terrell said one of the things she likes best about the Special Olympics is the way the athletes support each other.

"If someone is far behind, the others will stop and cheer them on," she said. "They don't have the heart of fierce competition. To them it's more than just winning a race."

Terrell said she values the friendships she has made with other volunteers who are there year after year. And Terrell intends to keep coming back, even though, once again, she is moving to Kansas.

"Celebrating Our Hidden Treasures"
May 21-23

Thursday, May 21

Friday, May 22

Saturday, May 23

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