500 ATHLETES COMPETE IN SPECIAL OLYMPICS : ANTELOPE VALLEY MOTHER MAKES ANNUAL GAMES A FAMILY AFFAIR.
Byline: Karen Thatcher Thatch·er , Margaret Hilda. Baroness. Born 1925.
British Conservative politician who served as prime minister (1979-1990). Her administration was marked by anti-inflationary measures, a brief war in the Falkland Islands (1982), and the passage of a Special to the Daily News
Running track at the Antelope Valley This article is about the Los Angeles County region. For the census-designated place in Wyoming, see Antelope Valley-Crestview, Wyoming.
The Antelope Valley Special Olympics Special Olympics
International sports program for people with intellectual disability. It provides year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type summer and winter sports for participants. is no longer an individual event for Kathy Browning.
It's now a family affair.
Kathy's three daughters ages 8, 10 and 11 participated in their first Special Olympics Saturday at the annual games at Antelope Valley College Antelope Valley College is a comprehensive community college located in Lancaster, California, USA. It is operated by the Antelope Valley Community College District, with a primary service area of 1,945 square miles covering portions of Los Angeles and Kern counties. . Besides competing, Kathy Brown who helped open the event by leading the Pledge of Allegiance Pledge of Allegiance, in full, Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, oath that proclaims loyalty to the United States. and its national symbol. .
``They will have fun doing like I did,'' Browning said. ``I'm the only one at track who has kids.''
Browning's first experience with Special Olympics came when she was about 8 years old. At the world games
The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multi-sport event, meant for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games. in Vermont, she took skiing lessons for a week and then competed, taking home two gold medals.
``She's a natural athlete,'' said Dennis Wick, volunteer director of the Antelope Valley Special Olympics.
Track and field is still her first love, especially the 100 and 200 meter races - events in which she admits most of the contenders are ``taller and younger'' than she is.
``It's a marvelous little family,'' Wick said. ``It's just a really unique success story. There's so much stereotyping with mentally handicapped kids and families.''
Browning's husband works at Rockwell Corp. in Palmdale. She walks the kids to school, fixes meals, and - like all others participating in Saturday's games - they practice their sports once a week.
``Look at what are considered `normal' families and the way some of these people treat their kids,'' Wick said. ``They (the Brownings) are healthy, happy and content . . . I think it's an eye-opener for us.''
Wick, works full-time at Antelope Valley College and teaches life skills to the mentally handicapped, and sees first hand the accomplishments of those he works with.
``They can do a lot more than people think if you give them a job and give them the tools,'' Wick said.
A lot of the athletes in Saturday's games have no physical limitations. They just need the encouragement and training, he said.
Some 500 Special Olympic athletes from 12 area teams, ranging from San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. to Ventura, took part in the games, which consisted of track events, swimming, tennis, gymnastics gymnastics, exercises for the balanced development of the body (see also aerobics), or the competitive sport derived from these exercises. Although the ancient Greeks (who invented the building called a gymnasium , bowling and softball softball, variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. Invented (1888) in Chicago as an indoor game, it was at various times called indoor baseball, mush ball, playground ball, kitten ball, and, because it was also played by women, ladies' competitions at facilities around the Antelope Valley.
More than 100 volunteers from the Antelope Valley Kiwanis Club and local churches helped make the occasion possible. Donations throughout the year supply the organization with medals, uniforms, food and facility use.
The result of the donations of money and time are evident to all who volunteer and take part in Special Olympics.
``Too many times they (the handicapped) are written off and aren't allowed to show what they can do - this is what Special Olympics are all about,'' said Wick.
Photo: (1--color) Jared Brundage, left, carries the Spci al Olympics torch and Greg Oakes runs with the torch he used in the relay for the Atlanta Games.
(2--color) Athletes from 12 Southland south·land or South·land
A region in the south of a country or an area.
Noun 1. teams parade Saturday at the Special Olympics at Antelope Valley College.
(3--color) Kathy Browning shares this year's event with her daughters, clockwise from left, Myrtle, 11, Dawn, 10, and Amy, 8.
Jeff Goldwater/Daily News