Bits & Pieces: Local Special Olympians shine bright again at Winter Games

When I was young and living in Portland, Maine, we never had organizations like Special Olympics for people with either physical or mental disabilities. In fact, we never saw people with any kind of disability. They became almost non persons.

Thank goodness for programs like Special Olympics.


Now youngsters and some not that young can show that they can compete at a high level in sports. I recall that at the State Farm Senior Open Classic held at Hobbit's Glen from some years ago, two golfers at the opening ceremonies teed off one after the other to officially open the tournament. One of those selected was a Special Olympian who managed to hit a drive almost as long as the one the pro hit. I was stunned.

Now these Special Olympians are at it again. This past Monday and Tuesday, more than 250 from across the state of Maryland took to the snow for the annual Winter Games at Ski Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. They were there to compete in Alpine Skiing and Snowshoe events.


Lets not forget the 150 volunteers, or 75 coaches, who are also on hand to make everything run smoothly.

Howard lax reunion game

Plans are in the works for a lacrosse reunion game on April 4 at 7 p.m. at Howard High. That evening, members of the 1964 and 1965 Howard lacrosse teams will be in the stands for the Howard vs. Long Reach game. Anyone and everyone who ever played lacrosse for Howard, especially in the 1960s or 1970s, is invited to attend.

Scholarship season

High school seniors: I direct your attention to the Howard County Striders' Dave Tripp award for 2014. The Striders are now accepting applications for this $6,000 award, which recognizes both male and female Howard County residents who are graduating seniors from a high school in Howard County. It is named for Community Sports Hall of Famer Dave Tripp, who has made major contributions to the sports of cross country, track and road running.

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This award is based strictly on merit and not need. The criteria include outstanding achievement in the classroom and as a performer in running. Applications can be found at The deadline for entries is April 10.

Phony athletes

I really don't know who to believe anymore. Both Lance Armstrong and Ray Rice made appearances in Howard County and were both highly convincing. Armstrong, a cancer survivor, came here and made an impassioned speech to other cancer survivors at Centennial High School. When he was finished, I looked around and saw a number of people there tearing up.

Months later, Armstrong admitted to doping and was banned from participating in sponsored bike races. Some people still believe he was being railroaded.

Ray Rice came to Columbia at least twice to push his anti-bullying campaign. Now Rice is the object of a possible criminal investigation after he allegedly knocked his fiancee unconscious after a skirmish between the two at an Atlantic City casino. Let's get this straight. He's against bullying but not against punching out his girlfriend and then dragging her out of an elevator feet first.

One's career has been destroyed by duplicity. The other has certainly damaged his clean cut image and his career could be in danger.


It's getter harder and harder to believe anyone nowadays.

What a shame.