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After All the Competition, Athletes Celebrate

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DURHAM — Sunday night's closing ceremonies of the1999 Special Olympics World Summer Gameswas a scaled down version of the opening gala, but the spirit of the event was the same.

The athletes paraded into Durham's Wallace Wade Stadium to say good-bye to the Triangle. After a week of competition, there was nothing left to do but party.

"It is pretty awesome. I would not mind doing it again," one athlete declared. "Being in the World Games is pretty neat."

The temperature soared and people searched for ways to keep cool.

"We have 90 medical volunteers spread out along the pathway that the athletes are walking down," one medical volunteer said. "We have three medical stations that are air-conditioned. We have multiple teams out in the field doing preventive techniques such as passing out water-soaked towels."

Medical volunteers kept a close eye on heat-weary athletes while fans and families cheered them one last time.

"Any time you work with these athletes or even come to cheer them on, you can not help but take a little bit home with you," one parent said. "It is a tremendous uplift just to be with the athletes. North Carolina did very well."

Sunday was a night to celebrate success, 7,000 athletes from more than 150 countries came to North Carolina and showed the world thatIt's All About Attitude.


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