PARKERSBURG - Competition was in full swing Saturday at Parkersburg South High School for the annual Special Olympics West Virginia Fall Games.
Cheryl Baxter, a volunteer from Parkersburg working in the Olympic Village on Saturday in the Rod Oldham Athletic Center, said the atmosphere at the Olympic Village activities area was busy as the athletes spent time there between competitions.
"It has been over the top busy," she said, "We have 16 stations set up for their free time between their events they are to attend."
Putnam County, left, plays Gilmer County, right, in volleyball Saturday at the Special Olympics West Virginia Fall Games at Parkersburg South High School. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Playing a game of checkers at the Olympic Village was Justice Anderson, left, of Gilmer County, and Shakilya Cosby, of Oak Hill, W.Va., a student volunteer from West Virginia University. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Bill Baxter, left, of St. Marys, makes a balloon animal for Jackson Evan, of Parkersburg, at the Olympic Village at the Special Olympics West Virginia Fall Games at Parkersburg South High School. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Roger Tenney, of Buckhannon, kicks a football during the football skills competition Saturday. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Baxter said the Fall Games had volunteers this year who included students from West Virginia University and Parkersburg South High School, members of the Brothers of the Wheel Parkersburg and individuals.
"This is made up of people who just want to help," she said.
Baxter said the village is a place the athletes can come to for some relaxation between competitions and just have some fun with the games and crafts offered. She said they are not required to visit the village but many of them take part in the activities.
She added they may also visit the village as many times as they wish over the weekend
Bill Baxter, of St. Marys, said he has two sons participating in the event and he and his wife were volunteering. On Saturday they were making balloon animals at the Olympic Village.
"We've done this for the last nine or 10 years," he said. "Our sons Brandon and Devin are participating in this."
Baxter said he used to do magic at the village. Another reason he volunteered at the village was because of his mother, Cheryl.
"We also volunteers because of my mom (Cheryl Baxter)," he said. "She has volunteered here for a long time."
Parkersburg has been the site of the fall games for the past 20 years. Special Olympics in West Virginia began in 1968 in Parkersburg.