A powerful team
The 1450th in Lenoir, N.C. celebrates the accomplishments of the McDowell County Special Olympics Power-lifting team that place first in a regional competition held in Atlanta, GA. on Jan. 25-26, 2014. SSG Allen Willis of the 1450th Transportation Company is an assistant coach for the power-lifting team and assists Nelda Newton, who is the head coach and Patti Wilkerson the McDowell County Special Olympic coordinator. SSG Willis and I refer to the team as "our kids," Newton said. "They are an appreciative group."
This team was awarded 33 gold medals, 18 silver and 3 bronze in their competition. In their competition they also did a first-time unified competition where SSG Willis and Bulo Kelly competed together as a team and won first place. SSG Willis won 4 gold medals along with Bulo Kelly. They competed against Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and others. The team is comprised of 10 members and are as follows: Diana Craig, Katie Hall, Andrew Bartlett, Samuel Bartlett, Chris Faulkner, Josh Finley, Bulo Kelly, Emmanuel Parks, Oliver Grant and Willie Wilkerson. The athletes range from 14 to 39.
The command awarded certificates to all of the Special Olympians in recognition of their achievement as a team representing McDowell County and enjoyed lunch with the team Mar. 1, 2014. They will compete again in June and represent the Western part of N.C. at the state level. SSG Willis was also awarded a certificate for a job well done by Frances Johnson, the State Family Assistant Coordinator in Lenoir.
Photo by SSG Blakemore