Sat, Jun 30 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampité
The fourth annual Olympic Day festivities brought approximately 150 youth from South Bay Family YMCA to the Olympic Training Center.
On June 22, kids ages 5 to 14 had the chance to meet former Olympic athletes as well as Olympic hopefuls training for this year’s Olympics in London.
Olympic Training Center director Tracy Lamb spoke about the significance of celebration during the opening ceremony last Friday.
“Today worldwide, we are celebrating what the Olympics mean,” Lamb said. “Today we stand connected by fellowship through sports.”
Former Olympian Jack Henn was an indoor volleyball Olympian. He also coached men’s volleyball for San Diego State University in the early ’70s.
“The Olympics all start with a dream,” Henn said. “It is set up to unify the world through sports.”
Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, 22, was born without both legs from his knees down, yet Henn categorized him as the fastest paralympian in the world.
“Anything you go after in life, stay focused,” Leeper told the kids. “You are going to face a lot of hard challenges in your life … but whatever you set your mind to, you can accomplish it.”
Twelve-year-old Daniel Langlais said he was excited to participate in Olympic Day.
“The Olympics to me is cool because when you see the country you’re from, you congratulate with them and you can cheer them on to win,” he said.
© 2009 The Star-News