Special Olympics team from Craig shines at summer games | CraigDailyPress.com

Special Olympics team from Craig shines at summer games

The Horizons Craig Special Olympics Team sport smiles that shine brighter than the medals they wear. Pictured, from left, Bobby Holmberg, Sharon Martinez and Jason Latham.

Real life heroes come in all shapes and sizes, like the one who gathered earlier this month for the Colorado Special Olympics Summer Games.

"The tooth fairy was one of the heroes I met," said Special Olympian Jason Latham of Craig.

"Heroes" was the theme of one of the ceremonies for the summer games that were held June 9 through June 11 in Grand Junction.

Joining the tooth fairy were all kinds of people with extraordinary abilities including a team of Special Olympians from Horizons — Latham, Sharon Martinez and Bobby Holmberg.

Latham often sports a superhero logo T-shirt. When asked how he prepared for competition he said, "I practice every single day and trained once or twice a week."

His preferred event is weight lifting, and though he competed in walking and softball throw events this year, Latham was the Hulk at hero night.

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And while Special Olympians competed, a squadron of volunteer heroes, many from law enforcement, served food, directed events and provided athletes with support.

"I asked the police, 'What is better, serving us or catching the bad guys?' And they laughed and joked around," Holmberg said.

The summer games are free to athletes due to the generosity of an "extraordinary league" of sponsors. The team from Craig stayed in student housing at Colorado Mesa University, competed at the stadium and we treated to box seats.

"It was nice. The weather was nice. It was a nice walking track and field. I like going somewhere new," Martinez said while smiling over her memories.

It was a smile that she wore the entire time she was competing in the 50- and 100-meter walks even when she spilled a bottle of water over her head to cool off after a race, said team escort Deb Kirby, from Horizons' Day Program.

Holmberg is already preparing for future summer games.

"I had fun, and I want to go again," he said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education

Special Olympics Colorado Summer Games Results
Horizons Special Olympic Team’s

Jason Latham

  • Participant — softball throw
  • Bronze medalist — 400-meter walk
  • Silver medalist — 200-meter walk

Sharon Martinez

  • Participant — softball throw
  • Gold medalist —100-meter walk
  • Bronze medalist — 50-meter walk

Bobby Holmberg

  • Bronze medalist — softball throw
  • Gold medalist — 100-meter walk
  • Gold medalist — 400-meter walk

Results will be updated as information becomes available.