Turlocker Ryan Gosik looks forward to the Stanislaus County Special Olympics every year. He doesn’t just have one favorite event; all of the events are his favorite.
“I like doing track because I like to run,” Gosik said.
And when he runs, he just doesn’t run fast, he said. He runs “super fast.”
He also loves to participate in the long jump because he likes to jump and he enjoys the softball throw because he can throw really hard.
Saturday was his day to shine and be around all of his friends at the 37th Annual Special Olympics held at the Ken Daniels/Special Olympics Field in Modesto.
This year, Gosik earned a spot on the relay team for the first time. He practiced for the relay team by running a lot to go for the win with his team. He had no doubts that he was going to take home first place in all his events.
The annual sporting event for people with intellectual disabilities started off with a parade led by the Modesto City Police Equestrian Color Guard and the Alchemists Shrine Clowns dressed in a rainbow of colors, followed by a host of community dignitaries.
Four groups of participants in the red, blue, green and yellow groups then broke off to prepare themselves to take home the gold in their respective events. The three events offered were the
50 meter dash, the long jump and the softball throw.
Specific participants were also selected prior to the event to run in the 100 meter relay and the 400 meter relay.
Other Turlockers who competed in the Special Olympics were Majorie McCray, Tyler Pierce and Jake Sroufe.
All of Gosik’s hard work paid off on Saturday as he took home five second place ribbons and two third place ribbons in his events. He has been participating in the Stanislaus County Special Olympics since he was eight years old, making this his 21st year of competing.
“He had a lot of fun,” said Jane Dover, Gosik’s mother. “We all enjoy it and everyone had a good day.”
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.