Dutchtown High student featured in La. Special Olympics exhibit

Since 1968, Louisiana Special Olympics has allowed students with intellectual disabilities to shine, and 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of this tradition. Dutchtown High School junior K’Von Albert’s racing wheelchair is on display in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches to commemorate this anniversary from May 5, 2018 until January 12, 2019. It is part of an exhibit titled, "BRAVE IN THE ATTEMPT: SPECIAL OLYMPICS IN LOUISIANA," which highlights stories of talented athletes, coaches, volunteers and administrators.

"I am very proud of K'Von, and I am grateful he is being honored in such a special way," said Dutchtown High Principal Carli Francois. "K'Von is a determined and fearless competitor whose hard work and continual success deserve to be honored. We, at Dutchtown High, applaud K'Von for his long list of achievements in Special Olympics at the local, state, and national levels. Go, Griffin!"

K’Von Albert has participated in Louisiana Special Olympics for 12 years. His racing wheelchair, which is on display in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, was designed by Top End in 2011.

This year, Albert participated in the local games put on by the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office held at Dutchtown High School before his racing wheelchair was selected for recognition. Normally, Albert is involved in the 100, 200, and 400 meter wheelchair races as well as the shot put throw in annual state and national Special Olympics competitions. However, since volunteering his wheelchair to the exhibit, Albert is signed up for powerlifting in this year’s Summer Special Olympics.

In the past, Albert has attended two national games where he holds the record for the 200 and 400 meter races, as well as the shot put throw for his division, according to his mother, Kindera Albert-Hilliard. The first national game took place in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2010, where Albert won two golds in the 100 meter race and the softball throw. The Princeton, New Jersey competition took place in 2014, where Albert won a silver in the 100 meter race, a gold in the 200 and 400 meter races, and a gold in the shot put throw.

Special Olympics has a strong presence here in Louisiana with an overall goal to “build character, self-esteem, and pride in athletics, while changing negative perceptions about people with intellectual disabilities in society,” according to the Louisiana Special Olympics website.

All Ascension Public Schools have participated in most Special Olympics events and have been a part of this organization as far back as the 1980s. “Dutchtown High supports Special Olympics to the fullest, and we just thank them for that,” Albert-Hilliard says.

For more information about Ascension Parish schools visit www.apsb.org. More information about Louisiana Special Olympics can be found at http://laso.org. If you want to learn more about racing wheelchairs, visit http://www.topendwheelchair.com/our-chairs/.

Contributed by Ascension Public Schools