By CHRIS EVERSOLE
The Yukon Horseshoe Club hosted the Special Olympics Friday.
About 110 Special Olympics athletes from Yukon and six other school districts competed at the club’s horseshoe pits in City Park.
This is the fourth year the Route 66 Area of Special Olympics Oklahoma held an event at the Yukon venue.
“It’s an amazing facility,” Area Director Caleb Shoaf said.
Students in Yukon High School leaderships programs helped operate the event, said teacher Darryl Andrews.
In one part of the event, a Special Olympics athlete was matched with another student in the competition.
In another part, Special Olympic athletes competed against each other.
Special Olympics holds events in sports that include volleyball, softball, soccer, bowling, bocce ball, flag football, basketball and track and field.
The Route 66 group has grown under Shoaf’s leadership over the past six years, he said.
Shoaf, who is an electrician, became interested in Special Olympics because his mother, Darlene Shoaf, taught special education in Yukon Public Schools for 36 years, and she coached Special Olympics for 32 years.
“I’m 36, so I’ve been involved my whole life,” Shoaf said.
His wife, Renee, now teaches in the same classroom at Yukon High School, and she is area trainer for the Route 66 group.
“We do anything we can to help students with disabilities,” Shoaf said.
He quotes what Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics, said at opening ceremonies of the 1987 Special Olympics World Games:
“You are the stars, and the world is watching you.
“By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation—a message of hope, a message of victory.”