Babylympics shows off early skill, but fun is more valuable than gold

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Olympics may be decades away for these young athletes, but for now, the Babylympics will do.
And even if it isn't training ground for a future sports star, it sure can get exciting.

Sometimes, it takes baby steps to succeed… or just to get a happy hug.

"She's always playing, running - just running," said Talya Woods, mother of competitor Daelyn Woods. "She's up and down the steps crawling and everything. She's just very active."

This is Daelyn's first Babylympics.

"She was too little, so I couldn't put her in it last year," she said. "So, I said, well, this year, we're definitely going to be in it until she can't do it anymore."

This was the second annual Babylympics, sponsored by the Salvation Army Kroc Center and radio station WJZD 94.5.

About 60 participants ages 6 months to 3 years came to put their baby moves to the test. Seventeen-month-old Landon has taken to box pushing for his special event.

"We came last year, and we enjoyed it," said Landon's sister, Quiana James. "He was a lot younger and was participating in it a little bit but not as much. So, we decided next year we have to come dressed up, and ready to cheer him on, and win."

But the chance to win isn't the only reason this event is special for the James family.
"Just family time," she said. "And bonding. ... No money, nothing else like that is involved. Just enjoying time with the family."

Likewise, Team Mackenzie was decked out and ready to help their little superstar.

"We saw it on the 4 o'clock news, and we decided that very day that we were all going to make sure to come out and celebrate our first grandchild doing the baby Olympics," said Teresa Purchner, grandmother of Mackenzie.

Mackenzie's baby crawl skills earned her a third place. But a trip to the podium is not the goal here.

"It doesn't matter," Purchner said with a smile. "We'll celebrate last place if we have to."

Proceeds from the event go to support the Salvation Army Kroc Center.

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