After an extra year of training, teams of Western Colorado compete at Stocker Stadium for the Special Olympics. Participants perform athletic skills in long jump and softball throw, along with fifty and hundred meter dash, while families cheer on a victory.
Coordinators and volunteers enjoy how they make an event happen, where people see what entries can do instead of focusing on what some think they’re limited in.
“Our athletes just want to be like anyone else and that’s really what anyone in life wants to be is, just some kind of sense of normal. I think that’s what we provide,” Seth Krebill believes, “They’re really at the highest level that they can be, they’re performing amazing times. You’ll see today how incredible our athletes can be, and they really put the work in. They put in the effort, they put in the time, and it’s their time to shine.”
No matter the weather, Special Olympics let nothing get in the way of the teams compete.
“Celebrating 50 years, Special Olympics Colorado works the very same,” Cora Dickey reports, “Athletes across the Western Slope come together to show off their physical ability like everyone else.”
Competitors like Payton Christie enjoy the chance Special Olympics has for him to get out and have fun.
“It’s not all the time that you get to get happy people together and have wonderful times, but when it comes to supporting my friends and go through everything as a team, it just builds everyone up,” Payton Christie reflects, “I love the teamwork, the friendships that we’ve made, it’s just very nice. If you see someone with, you know, special needs, pat them on the back. Say you’re doing a good job.”
The friendly competition is just heating up as summer games will be hosted at CMU on June 12.