Special Olympic athletes weigh on on organization's impact - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Special Olympic athletes weigh in on the annual summer games

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STEVENS POINT Wis. (WAOW) -

The annual summer games of the Special Olympics Wisconsin began Friday.

The games have been going on for 50 years.

On Friday, 1500 athletes competed on the fields of UW-Stevens Point.

One athlete said she didn't have much direction before joining the organization.

"The truth is I have nothing to do at home and it's boring all day long and I want to get out of the house more often," said 32-year-old Karyn Sparks. "I got out of my shell, out of my house and more sports that I wanted to do."

The weekend long event brought in competitors from across the badger state. 

The games tested their skills in various sports from swimming, track and field and soccer.

Karyn already placed in the early start of the games on Friday.

"I did second place in softball and I will be doing jumping today," Karyn said.

Her mom Cynthia told News 9 that ever sine Karyn joined Special Olympics a year ago, she has seen her daughter flourish.

"She has grown quite a bit," Cynthia Sparks said.

She credits that to the organization.

"Special Olympics offered her bowling, snow shoeing track and field so it's opened doors for her," Cynthia said.

As for Karyn, she wants others to experience the same kind of opportunities.

"We always want you to join us, you can do fun things and make friends and get out more often," Karyn said.

The games brought in 525 coaches and 600 volunteers.

The competition continues until Saturday.

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