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Exhibition on Special Olympics
May 6 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum
HOSTS EXHIBITION ON SPECIAL OLYMPICS IN LOUISIANA
Fifty years ago, the first Special Olympics games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago. Since then, the organization has shown that people with intellectual disabilities can, and do, succeed when given the chance. Brave in the Attempt: Special Olympics in Louisiana, which runs May 6, 2018, through January 12, 2019, at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches, explores the history of Special Olympics with an emphasis on the organization’s efforts in Louisiana.
To document the history of Special Olympics Louisiana, Brave in the Attempt: Special Olympics in Louisiana includes numerous images and almost fifty artifacts. Among the highlights are swimmer Ashley Arceneaux’s swimsuit, cap, and goggles and medals from Special Olympics athletes Matthew and Joseph Guichard. In addition, the exhibit includes a wheelchair specifically crafted for K’Von Albert, who represented Louisiana in the 2010 Special Olympics National Games in Lincoln, Nebraska. Albert, a native of Prairieville, was born with femoral-facial syndrome, a rare disorder that affected the development of his legs and facial features.
The first state games, held in 1970 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, soon followed. Incorporated in 1971, Special Olympics Louisiana hired its first permanent director, Emmanuel “Boozy” Bourgeois Jr, in 1974. Bourgeois remained at the helm of the organization for more than three decades. Today, more than 15,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities participate in approximately 100 athletic competitions each year.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum is located at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches. The Hall of Fame celebrates accomplishments by Louisiana athletes, coaches and sports stars in a dazzling museum complex, while the museum brings 3,000 years of history forward to the unique cultural traditions that survive and thrive in the region today. Admission to the museum $5 for adults, $4 for students, seniors and active military, and free for children 6 and under. More information about the museum can be found on their website.