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Published 03/08/2013
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Sebastian Cheers on Special Olympics Athletes

MIAMI - Sebastian the Ibis and Miami Hurricanes cheerleaders supported more than 400 special athletes during the 31st annual Special Olympics Miami-Dade County Track & Field Games.

Nearly 500 Special Olympic athletes from more than 40 Miami Dade County schools and group homes competed in the Track & Field Games held March 3 at Traz Powell Stadium.

Athletes competed in various events such as the 50-, 100- and 400-meter runs and relays, wheelchair races, running and standing long jump, softball throw, shot put and high jump.

The event, co-hosted by the David L. Singer Memorial Foundation and North Miami Beach Optimist Club, also featured members of the Miami Heat dance team, Miami Dolphins cheerleaders and professional mascots Burnie from the Heat and Billie the Marlin.

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization* dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type summer and winter sports. (*Special Olympics is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).)

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics is the world's largest program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities. Special Olympics Florida, incorporated in 1972, is headquartered in Clermont, Fla. and is divided into 11 area programs, covering over 55 counties and over 15,000 athletes. Special Olympics Miami-Dade County was established in 1991 for children and adults in our community and now has over 3,000 participants in 13 different sports.