INSIDE SOSC: Athletes Shine Under Coliseum Lights

When Special Olympics Southern California first reached out to the Rams amid their move from St. Louis to Los Angeles, it was just an initial greeting. No plans were put in place, just a welcome back to the area.

Now, a full year into a partnership, the Rams helped jumpstart the introduction to flag football as a soon-to-be offered sport and on Saturday hosted more than 40 Special Olympics Southern California athletes for a culminating punt, pass and kick event at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Throughout the fall, the Rams hosted clinics for athletes in different regions leading up to the appearance at the Coliseum.

Athletes like 21-year-old Timothy Woodall of Long Beach — who already keeps busy with basketball, track and field, and softball — are excited about adding another sport to the lineup.

“I loved it,” said Timothy, who has been involved for seven years.

Timothy’s aunt, Dorothy Rucker, who has been taking care of Timothy since his birth, called the experience “amazing.”

“It gives them that ability to be whatever they want to be,” she said. “There’s no limits to what they want to be, what they want to do.”

The athletes took part in festivities on the same field that would host a big NFC showdown between the Rams and Philadelphia Eagles later in the day. After the event, each athlete was presented with a certificate of participation signed by Rams star running back Todd Gurley. They were also afforded the opportunity to watch FOX’s pregame studio show being televised live at the stadium.

Before the game, the athletes were allowed to watch the teams’ pregame warm-ups, and Special Olympics athlete Lucy Meyer participated in the game’s ceremonial coin toss. Also, partners Albertson, Vons and Pavilions presented Special Olympics Southern California with a check for $1.2 million in a pregame presentation.

But there was still one thing left on the day’s agenda. At halftime, all the athletes stood in the end zone and were recognized in front of an announced attendance of 67,752 fans. As they walked off the field, even the visiting Eagles fans couldn’t help but applaud their abilities and exchange high-fives on the way back to their seats.

Inside the SOSC is a blog written by staff member Tracy McDannald. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.

  1. My nephew and I were there we would like to thank you for that opportunity it was awesome.


    1. Loved having you!!!


    2. THANK YOU for being a part of the event.


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