First in 5 years, Special Olympics held at White County High School

The torch ceremony kicked off the Special Olympics at White County High School on April 21, 2023. (Dean Dyer/

Bright sunshine and a cheering crowd welcomed the start of the 2023 White County Special Olympics Friday at White County High School Stadium.

This is the first Games since 2018 due to rain and COVID.

Following the opening ceremony, which included several athletes carrying the Special Olympics torch around the track at the stadium, Dr. MaryKay Berry, Director of Student Services at White County Schools, opened the Games.

“These athletes have the ability to come out here and do just as much as anybody else, and we want to showcase that today and every year we can,” said White County Special Olympics Chairperson Sharon Brown.

One of many special moments during Friday’s event was when they presented the annual Sarah Loudermilk Award to Amos Lee. This award is presented during the Games to an athlete who has shown good quality and outstanding effort. The award is named for Sarah Brook Loudermilk of Sautee, who died December 5, 2008, at the age of three.

Brown recognized the support from the county, businesses, and individuals in making Friday’s long-awaited Games a reality.

“Many individuals and businesses gave to us this year so we could have our tee shirts, so we could have our hamburgers, and Cokes and whatever for the kids, so we are super excited,” she said.

Habersham County held its Special Olympics on April 17. Banks County held its Games on April 13.

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