9 area athletes headed to Special Olympics USA Games
After training for four years, nine area-athletes are taking their skills to the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.
The time has come and these Austin-area athletes are ready to win. "I'm good at the 800-meter run, 1,500-meter run, running long jump and shot put", says a Special Olympics athlete. They had a nice farewell from family and friends Saturday morning as they got ready to fly out of Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Their next stop? New Jersey for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. "I'm really excited. This is the best part of my job, to be able to go out here with the athletes. I want to see them compete and show the world what our athletes are able to do," says Norm Arias, Director of Field Services, Special Olympics Texas. They will be competing against more than 3,000 athletes. 120 of them will also be from Texas. It's a week-long filled with competitions in 16 different sports. "Powerlifting, track and field, aquatics, softball, basketball. So it will be a lot of competition for our athletes; to be able to compete with other states across the nation," says Arias. The games will be held at top sports venues; including Princeton University. The athletes will be supported by 1,000 coaches, which is why this father is happy to cheer on his daughter. "We're really proud of her and what she's accomplished. She's doing her 14th year and she just thinks the world of these kids. She just loves them all to pieces," says Harold Wiesenhutter. After the USA Games, the training isn't over. Many of these athletes plan to take their skills to the world games next year in Los Angeles.
The 2014 Special Olympics runs from June 14 through June 21.