Special Olympics inspire the Grand Valley

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - For many of the athletes, it was a dream come true.

For the first time in over 40 years, the Western Slope is playing host to Colorado's Special Olympics, and Stocker Stadium is overflowing with inspirational stories.

Events included running, jumping and throwing, and all the participants were rewarded with ribbons for their achievements.

Throughout the events was an overwhelming sense of family, and everyone involved was invested in making the Special Olympics an experience the athletes will never forget.

“When one of the racers fell over, just the amount of support she had and everyone went out to pick her back up and get her to finish" says volunteer Michael Brown. "That's just how much of a family everyone is here."

The athletes aren't the only ones gaining memories, and the volunteering may even be more rewarding.

“I have always found that the athletes have always given me more than I’ve ever been able to give them," says District 51 teacher Michael Ruspil. "To watch them do something they didn't believe they could do, to have their families or their communities see something that they didn’t think was possible, and then to have that athlete stand there and be recognized, on a podium, and receive an award…you can’t describe that, priceless doesn’t even work.”

The adults will begin their competition in June. To find out more information about the Colorado Special Olympics, visit their homepage by clicking the link below.

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