Special Olympics 5-14-22

Merrill, Wis. (WJFW) - This weekend 99 athletes had the chance to compete in the Region 2 Track and Field event for the special Olympics at Merrill High School.

"This event means the world to the athletes," said Amber Weinfurter. "With covid, we haven’t been able to hold a normal track meet in a couple of years," she added.

Amber Weinfurter is the special Olympics athletic director. She says before you start and event like this, there’s a lot of preparation that has to take place.

"They all have to submit registration times for us and that is where we division them so they are competing against athletes of the same ability," said Weinfurter.

 Prior to the athletes participating in any of the events, they have to make sure they’re ready.

"It is always tough for our athletes because we live in the north and we do a lot of snow, so a lot of inside preparation is done before the season," said Rod Ankrom. "They do great and these last couple of weeks it’s been great to be outside," he said.

There is an event for everyone, you get a reward if you compete. It doesn’t matter if you come in 1st or 8th place.

"We talk about running events, jumping events, running or walking events and we talk about throwing events," said Ankrom. "So we award all of our athletes anywhere depending on the heats in the division there can be up to eight athletes competing," said Amber.

"You will see more smiles and more excitement about pure competition today, then you will see anywhere else," said Rod.