Special Olympics ND Summer Games Kick Off With Parade, Opening Ceremony
Over 600 athletes are participating
FARGO, N.D. — The Special Olympics North Dakota Summer Games kick off, and it’s all smiles for the six hundred plus athletes who will be competing.
One athlete, Billy Pyfer, says the Special Olympics is basically his entire life. He trains five to six times a week, and competing has given him an outlet to meet many like-minded athletes.
“You get to meet people, have the same drive, consistency and having a good time,” he said.
Whether you’re brand new to the game or a well–seasoned athlete, everybody gets to experience the thrill of being on the field.
“Just keep practicing until you get to that top division that you’re in,” Pyfer said.
The Summer Games kick off with a parade and dance party, with community members lining the streets to show their support.
“Our athletes are like every other athlete. They learn through sport, they experience the joy of competition, they learn the life lessons that sports teaches you,” Special Olympics ND COO Kevin Robson said.
“I always do my best, I think just because I don’t, my other teammates will. I always believe that everybody is not just different, they’re one in the same,” athlete Brieanna Moos said.
Organizers say competitors have come a long way through sport. Some athletes have been taking part for decades.
“We’ve had athletes when they joined our program were not as verbal. It was through Special Olympics they became more verbal, came out of their shells, experience the joy of friendships, winning, losing,” Robson said.
Athletes say they’re aiming for gold, but are keeping in mind that no matter what, it’s just a game.
Volleyball, powerlifting, and swimming competitions will begin tomorrow at Davies High School. The track and field competition takes off Saturday at Fargo South.