Updated: 02/01/2014 10:36 PM
Created: 02/01/2014 5:13 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The Olympic Games start later this week in Russia, but 100 special athletes took home metals in Duluth on Saturday. Fans and family cheered on the athletes at the Lincoln Park Middle School Saturday morning during the Special Olympics.
The games include swimming, basketball, and powerlifting. The athletes go for the gold, but said helping each other shine bright in competition is the real prize.
For 26 years the Special Olympics have helped disabled Northlanders find pride by shooting hoops or swimming laps. The energy of fans like Sharon Doty go beyond the bleachers.
“This is the most heart-warming thing that I get to do. It means the world to me I don't miss them,” Doty said.
She said that's because of the positive effect the games have on her granddaughter Ariah Jensen.
“When you see your grandchild, when they have disability, in a competition like this with other kids and having friends it's something that you can't explain,” Doty said.
For the same reason Patrick Stojevich has organized the event for over two decades.
“My passion is just watching these athletes compete and seeing their smiles come out of the pool no matter what place they get,” Stojevich said.
He said community support of the Haunted Shack in the fall made it possible for the athletes to hit the court. Donations were so plentiful Stojevich was able to donate $7,000 to the Special Olympics. He said that is important because the games don't stop in Duluth.
“This event is the regional event qualifying them to go tot he state games coming up this spring down in the cities, and if they do good there there's a national games they'll be qualifying for also down at the state games,” Stojevich said.
However he always strives to do more.
“In the future I'd like to see this expand even bigger bringing in other teams from the state and expand it over into Wisconsin,” Stojevich said.
He said a big event like the Special Olympics does not happen without a lot of help. Over 100 volunteers kept the games going smoothly and many of them were local Boy Scouts.
Justin's 2014-2015 Winter Prediction
Winter is right around the corner and the question on everybody's mind is will we have a winter like last year. With record stretches of cold and record snowfall last year is one we one like to forget. Chief meteorologist Justin Liles lets us know what we can expect this year
Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout was found Unresponsive in House Fire Day Before
A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. On Tuesday, authorities say that same woman was found by her neighbors unresponsive and not breathing after they saw flames coming from a downtown Lake Nebagamon home.
Funding for Military Funeral Personnel Restored
On Thursday, Rep. Rick Nolan received a letter from the Secretary of the Army that funding for the playing of "Taps," a rifle salute, and delivering a folded American flag will be restored.
Preparing for Ebola: Health System Working Together
People who work in the Northland's health system are communicating on a regular basis, to prepare for Ebola, even though it's unlikely to appear here.
St. Luke's Honored by American Heart Association
St. Luke's received three honors from the American Heart Association on Thursday, for their approach and teamwork when taking care of heart and stroke patients.