LEXINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A tradition in Lexington continued Friday with a twist as former Boston Bruins legend Zdeno Chara joined Special Olympics athletes on the field for the 18th annual Lexington School Day Games Special Olympics.

Held at Lexington High School, the event drew hundreds of school athletes from Lexington, Arlington, Burlington, Bedford and Belmont. Attendees then partnered up with volunteers from the Best Buddies program to compete in games like the 50-meter dash, soccer and hurdle jumps. 

“It was such an amazing event,” said Chara. “I really enjoyed it and I’m just glad I could support it.” 

“I love seeing all the happy faces,” said Best Buddies Co-President Gavin Richard. “It’s really the best event of the year.” 

“When people make it to the finish line, no matter if they came first or last, everyone is smiling and looks like they had a great time,” Richard continued. 

Will O’Brien said this was his fourth year competing. He said running is his favorite part of the School Day Games. 

“Definitely, [it’s] just getting to come out here, race and just have a good time,” O’Brien said. 

Chara said he’s happy to be part of such an important program. 

“It made my day,” he said.

Volunteers said they love how the community comes together every year to support participants at the School Day Games. 

“[It’s] unbelievable to see just how they connect and some of them stay friends for life,” said Michael Dicenso of the Labbb Program. 

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