Athletes compete, have fun in Pasco County’s Special Olympics

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – This year marks the 40th anniversary for the Special Olympics in Pasco County. This year hundreds of athletes from all over the county kicked off the first day of competition at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey.

“A lot of us on the team have a really strong kick so we should be able to kick the ball far into the goal,” 11-year-old Zoe Quigley said about her soccer team’s chances at winning.

After the inaugural relay torch run around the Royal Knights’ stadium in New Port Richey, it was game on for these Olympic competitors.

“I think it’s fun and I have been competing good and I tried my best,” Special Olympian Jamie Lighty said.

“It’s fun doing bocce ball but it’s fun getting ribbons too,” Jamie’s best friend and teammate Becky Bordeaux said.

Athletes compete in a range of sports, including track and field, cycling and soccer. It seemed parents were having just as good a time watching the games, as their kids were having competing.

“It gives me butterflies in my stomach and it does me good because I see the smile it puts on his face and it puts an even bigger smile on my face,” William Henderson Jr. said about his son competing.

Pasco County’s Special Olympics finished at Wesley Chapel High School’s stadium Friday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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