The good weather was a welcome sight, as Special Olympians from Eastern Maine gathered together at Hampden Academy this week to participate in the Special Olympics Maine: Penobscot, Piscataquis & Hancock Area 2022 Track & Field Event.

Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 3
Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 3
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Area Co-Manager for the Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock Area Special Olympics, Christina Garis Ehrhard said the event was a draw for hundreds of athletes from across the state.

Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 6
Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 6
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"We had 350 athletes participating from about 20 different teams from the Bangor/Brewer/Hampden Area, Hancock County, Newport, Foxcroft, and Millinocket."

Athletes participated in events like the 50 & 100 Meter Dash, The Long Jump, and The Softball Throw.

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Ehrhard also coordinates the area games management system. She said while there are events like this throughout the year, this one seems to be one a lot of folks look forward to the most.

Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 2
Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 2
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"Our PPH Area Special Olympics holds events throughout the year and the track meet has always been a favorite.

She said what was particularly awesome about the event Tuesday was that it was the first time in a few years that these athletes have been able to come together to compete.

Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 4
Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 4
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"This was our first fully in-person meet since the start of Covid and it absolutely felt great to be back together again. The sun and the smiles were definitely shining."

Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 5
Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 5
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Ehrhard says from here, the Special Olympians have their sites set on the next big event, to be held this summer in Orono.

"Next up for many of these athletes is the State Summer Games at UMO in June."

Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 1
Special Olympics 2022, Liz Leavitt 1
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To find out more about the area's Special Olympics activities, click here.

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