Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Special athletes gathering at EKU



By William Croyle
Enquirer contributor

BURLINGTON - Chris Revay says he competes in the pentathlon of the Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games for the fun of it.

But he's pretty good at it, too.

"This is like my 12th year going down there. and I won it nine years in a row," said Revay, 28. "I just barely lost last year."

Revay will try to reclaim the gold medal in this year's games at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Friday through Sunday.

He's one of 72 athletes from Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties who will compete in track and field, gymnastics, power lifting, soccer or swimming. All but nine of them have participated before. They range in age from 10 to 50.

Charlie Campbell, 32, of Florence has been participating for nearly 15 years. Though he has trouble walking, he plays goalie and forward on the Boone County Rebels soccer team, which plays in the state games Saturday. He's also tried other events in the past such as track and field, and has medals to prove it.

"I have hundreds of them," said Campbell. "It's something to do. I like to get out and do things and get physical."

The games started more than 30 years ago in Louisville. This is the 10th consecutive year they will be at EKU. More than half of the state's 120 counties will be represented by 1,000 athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There will also be more than 500 volunteers and coaches.

The weekend kicks off with the torch run Friday from Frankfort to Richmond. The games begin Saturday morning on the EKU campus and at Kentucky Elite Gymnastics in Lexington. The closing ceremonies will be Saturday night. Sunday, athletes can view and take home free photos of themselves in action.

"It's a big weekend for them because it's all geared toward celebrating their accomplishments," said Special Olympics Kentucky spokesman Mark Buerger. "It's a lot of fun and the most exciting program that we offer."

If you go

What: Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games

When: Friday through Sunday

Where: Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond

Cost: Free and open to the public

Information: Special Olympics Kentucky, (502) 695-8222, or www.soky.org

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E-mail williamcroyle@yahoo.com




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