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Game of Golds

Today, exactly one year ago, I was at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. This year I attended the not much less spectacular Game of Golds, a.k.a. the Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games. They took place at Towson University in Towson, Md. from Friday, June 7 through Sunday, June 9. Here are some of my favorite moments:

Opening Ceremony in SECU Arena at Towson University, MD on Friday, June 7, 2019. Over the course of three days 1500 athletes and Unified Partners will compete in athletics, softball, cheerleading, bocce or swimming.

Opening Ceremony in SECU Arena at Towson University, MD on Friday, June 7, 2019. Over the course of three days 1500 athletes and Unified Partners will compete in athletics, softball, cheerleading, bocce or swimming.

Two athletes carry the Olympic torch to its final destination in front of Unitas Stadium at Towson University, MD at the end of the Opening Ceremony. They are surrounded by Law Enforcement Torch Runners and athletes. The torch will remain lit until the Summer Games are completed.

Two athletes carry the Olympic torch to its final destination in front of Unitas Stadium at Towson University, MD at the end of the Opening Ceremony. They are surrounded by Law Enforcement Torch Runners and athletes. The torch will remain lit until the Summer Games are completed.

An athlete rejoices upon completion of the 50 meter freestyle event in the pool of Burdick Hall at Towson University, MD on Friday June 7, 2019.

An athlete rejoices upon completion of the 50 meter freestyle event in the pool of Burdick Hall at Towson University, MD on Friday June 7, 2019.

High jumper successfully completes a challenging jump at Unitas Stadium , Towson University, MD on Sunday June 9, 2019.

High jumper successfully completes a challenging jump at Unitas Stadium , Towson University, MD on Sunday June 9, 2019.

Athlete giving it her very best at the long jump event at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Athlete giving it her very best at the long jump event at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Javelin thrower being watched by a volunteer referee at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019. The staging area for all track and field events is top left and the awards area is top right.

Javelin thrower being watched by a volunteer referee at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019. The staging area for all track and field events is top left and the awards area is top right.

Great catch during the final softball game on the Varsity Softball Field at Towson University, MD on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Great catch during the final softball game on the Varsity Softball Field at Towson University, MD on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Howard County coaches and athlete watching the game from the sidelines at the Varsity Softball Field at Towson University on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Howard County coaches and athlete watching the game from the sidelines at the Varsity Softball Field at Towson University on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

A few of the many supporters of the Summer Games at Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 19, 2019.

A few of the many supporters of the Summer Games at Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 19, 2019.

Athletes taking off for the 50 meter dash on the track of Unitas Stadium of Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Athletes taking off for the 50 meter dash on the track of Unitas Stadium of Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Short distance runners on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Short distance runners on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Athlete running the 50 meter dash on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Athlete running the 50 meter dash on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Runner completing the final leg of the 4 x 100 meter relay on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Runner completing the final leg of the 4 x 100 meter relay on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Judges and volunteers applauding a deaf runner at the finish line on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Judges and volunteers applauding a deaf runner at the finish line on the track of Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Athlete high-fiving a law enforcement officer after receiving a silver medal from him in the Awards tent at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Athlete high-fiving a law enforcement officer after receiving a silver medal from him in the Awards tent at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Excited athlete shaking hands with a law enforcement officer upon receiving a 6th place ribbon reading “skill, courage, sharing, joy” in the Awards tent at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Excited athlete shaking hands with a law enforcement officer upon receiving a 6th place ribbon reading “skill, courage, sharing, joy” in the Awards tent at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

A very happy athlete in the Awards tent at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

A very happy athlete in the Awards tent at Unitas Stadium, Towson University, MD. on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Paying Attention is Hard

When covering a track and field meet I always like to hop in the holding area where athletes check in and await their turn to race. It's especially fun when the area is filled with young kids.  Chaos, loud chattering, rambunctiousness and lively excitement reign. The race officials who are in charge have a hard job at that!

Here's a young boy (number 269) listening attentively to the official.

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But it didn't last for long!

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