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Public invited to cheer on Hi-Line Special Olympians

The Great Northern Special Olympics, featuring athletes from throughout the Hi-Line, will take place Wednesday at Havre Middle School.

The group will gather for the opening ceremony at the school's track, which includes the Athlete's Pledge.

Pat Ahern, a Havre Special Olympian, will lead the athletes in the Athlete's Pledge.

Bob Norbie, president and CEO of Montana Special Olympics, will be the guest speaker. and Sierra Hiehl, a Havre High student, will sing the Star Spangled Banner.

Special Olympian Stacy Johnston-Greeson will light the torch.

Staff, athletes and friends will then do a ceremonial walk around the track,

Then track and field events will begin.

Later in the day, there will be medal ceremony and athletes will have a barbecue.

People are invited to come and cheer the athletes on, said Mandy Hansen, the public relations director for Special Olympics.

She had one bit of advice: "Bring your loud voices because you will be cheering the teams on."

This event will be a teaser for May, when the athletes will take part in Montana Special Olympics in Billings, she said,.

"The athletes will be doing what they love to do," she said. "They push themselves to go as far as they can," she said.

She said she feels a sense of satisfaction every time she takes part in the games.

"They teach me to never give up, to always do my best," she said.

"It doesn't matter if you are a coach, an athlete or just somebody watching, they made you feel good," she said. "They make you cry."

The awards ceremonies are always important, she said, because good athletes are rewarded.

But everyone is a winner, she said.


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