By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Several athletes will represent Marion County this weekend at the Special Olympics State Basketball Tournament held in Morgantown.
The opening ceremonies for the event are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. today at Morgantown High School. Approximately 700 Special Olympics athletes and volunteer coaches from around the state are expected to be in attendance.
Athletes will participate in team basketball, individual skills basketball and cheerleading competitions, all of which will be held at either Morgantown High or the West Virginia University Student Recreation Center.
In addition to the basketball tournament games, the cheerleading competitions will consist of a sideline cheer, floor cheer and dance routine, while the individual skills portion of the event will include dribbling and foul-shot competitions.
Krista Vassil, the fundraising coordinator for the Marion County Special Olympics, said that this is an event that the athletes especially look forward to.
“This is one of their favorite times of the year,” Vassil said. “They really just love it.”
According to Vassil, the athletes, who range in age from 9 to 60, have been practicing weekly since December in preparation for the tournament.
Vassil’s daughter, Kaitlyn, is a Marion County cheerleader in today’s event and has been a participant in previous years.
“I like it. It’s a very relaxing time,” Vassil said. “I’m excited.”