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Athletes feel thrills of bocce at Special Olympics
Some games shortened by Saturday's rains
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Tyler Whitmire does a victory dance after earning a point. - photo by KAYLA CANADA

On Oct. 9, Special Olympic teams from all over Georgia came to compete in the Special Olympics held right here in Gainesville. Nearly 2,000 people with intellectual disabilities competed in a variety of games.

The North Hall Community and Technology Center hosted the Special Olympics bocce games.

The game, thought to have emerged from ancient Egypt, involves throwing a “jack,” a smaller ball, then trying to throw the other balls as close to the jack as possible.

The games began Friday and continued through Sunday as teams progressed through the brackets.

Friday’s games were filled with sunshine and anticipation, but Saturday brought torrential downpours that caused many delays of games and resulted in the usual 45-minute games being shortened to 15 minutes to account for the delays.  

Despite the rain, the games continued, and the competitors weren’t fazed by it.

“I’m just glad I get to be here having fun and hanging with my peeps,” said competitor Shakira Serna, a North Hall High senior.

Check out Kayla Canada's photo essay in the attached pictures.

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