This year’s Tri Valley Special Olympics games in La Crescenta was the first to include an Olympics Village and Bocce ball tournament.
About 300 people volunteered to help organize the event and provide support to the athletes and their families, Mayo said.
“We could not run such a great event without all of the volunteers,” she said.
The event’s organizer, Grace Chase, said the competition kicked off in the Crescenta Valley last year because disabled athletes have few opportunities to compete there.
Crescenta Valley’s Committed to Athletic Needs, a nonprofit group dedicated to supporting sports, then partnered with the Tri-Valley Special Olympics to create the competition for the athletes, she said.
“We have a lot of athletes who go to [Crescenta Valley High School], who have special needs, that don’t necessarily compete in this school, so we thought we would give them an opportunity to do that through these games.”
Saturday’s games served as a warmup for athletes participating in the larger Special Olympics Southern California competition, which will be in June at Cal State Long Beach.
The Tri-Valley Special Olympics organization serves athletes from the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Glendale and Burbank. The organization provides training facilities, and supplies equipment, uniforms and medals to 350 athletes between the ages 18 and 75.
The Tri-Valley organization offers year-round training and competition in aquatics, track and field, basketball, Bocce ball, golf, tennis, softball and soccer.
Chatsworth resident Sheryl Diamond, 40, and her roommate participated in walking, softball toss and long jump.
“I like the Olympics because it’s fun,” she said.
Athletes who finished in the top three in their events received gold, silver and bronze medals. All other athletes received medals for participating in the competition.