NEW CANAAN — School grounds often grow quiet after classes ended, but St. Luke’s gym was filled with the sound of cowbells, plastic horns and cheers after school on Oct. 16. Athletes, teammates, coaches and delegates, along with St. Luke’s students came together for the announcement of Team Connecticut who will participate in the 2018 Special Olympics USA in Seattle.

Allison Smith, a Special Olympics athlete and global messenger, went to the games in Iowa and Nebraska in 2006 and 2010 and said she hoped the athletes going next year will enjoy their time at the games as much as she did.

“Both experiences were awesome and something I’ll never forget,” she said. “I hope our athletes here today have the same wonderful experience.”

The 40 members of the Special Olympics Connecticut team were announced at the event and cheered on by St. Luke’s students as well as sponsors, donors, family members and friends.

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington, July 1-6, 2018.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata