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Participate in the World Games as a 'Fan in the Stands'

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RALEIGH — You can play an important part in the1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Being a "Fan in the Stands" will mean a lot to athletes who are giving their all in the spirit of competition.

More than 8,000 Triangle residents have joined Spectator Teams for the World Games.

The enthusiasm is spreading as members of a Special Olympics World Games Spectator Team from Wake County prepare for the event. They are designing t-shirts and colorful shakers.

"Being a part of a Spectator Team is as little or as much as you want it to be," says Tina Wilson, a World Games spokesperson. "You can come out and make banners or make things to cheer with."

This Spectator Team is sponsored by FEMALE -- Formerly Employed Mothers at the Leading Edge -- and their children.

They will be cheering on athletes during roller skating events at Raleigh's Dorton Arena. Moms here say their participation is as much for their kids as it is for the athletes.

"It's important for the kids to know that we need to do things for others and cheer people on and not everybody is exactly like we are, but everybody can do wonderful things just like we can, too," says Diane Rokuskie, a Spectator Team member.

Organizers say Spectator Teams will be doing a wonderful thing just by cheering on the athletes and having fun. Team members say they are happy to shake up the stands.

"Oh, I think everyone will have a really good time," says Christin Clark, a Spectator Team member. "It might be hard to keep the kids in their seats, but they'll have a great time."

If you are not part of an official Spectator Team, you can still be a fan in the stands.

All of the World Games events -- except for opening and closing ceremonies -- are free to the public.

It all kicks off June 26.



Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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