Special Olympics wraps up in Stevens Point - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Special Olympics wraps up in Stevens Point

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

For Joe Neumann, winning comes in many forms.

"I got a ribbon and a silver medal," Neumann said proudly.

He is just one of 2,000 athletes participating in the 40th annual Summer Special Olympics. And for Neumann, it is more than a competition. 

"I like to come here and meet people and make friends," Neumann said.

This year's events included track and field, power lifting, swimming and soccer. Neumann and many others found their stride on the track. 

"I hope to get the gold in my next event," Neumann said.

And teammate Scott Prairie shared a little supportive advice, "I go all out on my last lap," Prairie said.

But, it's not just these athletes walking away winners. It's their coaches too.

"Just to see that huge smile on their faces when they win and they run up and give you a big hug, it's the best," Coach Colleen Huibregtse said.

Huibregtse coaches Neumann and dozens of other special Olympics athletes. She says each athlete's journey to the games means more than a medal.

"They just have such positive attitudes and they are always practicing and working hard and it is paying off because they are all doing awesome," Huibregste said.

The games give year round training and competition opportunities through 18 different Olympic type sports. And, all the hard work pays off as athletes walk, run or dash their way to the finish line.

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