Nearly 900 athletes made the trip to Irvine High School and William Woollett Aquatics Center to compete in basketball, bocce, swimming, and track and field Saturday at the Orange County Regional Spring Games.
In addition, nearly 300 volunteers helped make the event a memorable experience. For one volunteer, though, the day was even busier than anticipated.
Helen Roe, a Games Management Team volunteer who assisted with Opening Ceremonies, fainted earlier in the day after getting her blood drawn. A doctor insisted she go to the emergency room, but she was adamant to be at the Games.
“I was fine, I kept telling them,” and eventually Helen got her way.
Helen has been involved with Special Olympics Southern California since 2002, starting as a volunteer with Disney. Other past roles included time as a signage manager.
Helen volunteered along with her son, Matt, and the peculiar day was only just beginning once Opening Ceremonies wrapped up. Helen was off to watch her grandson play in a Little League game later that afternoon.
Also in Attendance
Among the competitors were five swimmers selected to this summer’s 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.
Hayden Chrastka, Steven Espinoza, Nicholas Laguna, Ethan Tran and Kiana Yep were in action. All of them, as well as most of the other 61 USA Games athletes, will next be in action June 9 and 10 at the 2018 Summer Games at Long Beach State.
Local government officials also showed their support. Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Senator John Moorlach, Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner and Assemblymember Steven Choi attended the Games.