Special Olympics stopover: Santa Barbara hosts athletes from Latin America

A colorful sign at the entrance to Westmont College bid visitors a bilingual nod of “Welcome/Bienvenidos” this week.

For a few days, the campus is playing host to a group of 100 young athletes and their coaches from countries in Latin America; they are stopping in Santa Barbara before proceeding to the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday morning, after traveling here from points south, the groups of visitors mingled, ran and joked with Olympic hopeful “Elite Athletes” who normally train on this track, met with Mayor Helene Schneider, and generally began a brief, activity-filled encounter with the famous city of Santa Barbara. more

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