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.
Authorities Investigating Possible Homicide on the Fond Du Lac Reservation
Authorities are investigating the death of a 31-year-old woman in Stoney Brook Township on the Fond Du Lac Reservation. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said Monday that they believe the death was an act of violence. One suspect has been taken into custody and authorities are asking for the public's help locating a woman who may have more information.
Duluth Man Pleads Guilty to Suffocation Death of 13-month-old Daughter
A 30-year-old Duluth man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the suffocation death of his 13-month old daughter. The St. Louis County Attorney's office announced Christopher Dennis Peterson's plea in State District Court on Monday.
Human Remains Near Pine City Likely Part of Historic Burial Site
Human remains uncovered at a construction site near Pine City last week are most likely connected to a historic burial site. The results of the investigation into the remains were released on Monday.
No Criminal Charges for Superior Officer in Controversial Arrest
Superior Police Chief Charles F. LaGesse announced Monday morning the Bayfield County District Attorney has issued his decision about the actions of Officer George Gothner during the arrest of Natasha Lancour.
Crash Survivor Shares Story To Fight Distracted Driving
An Itasca County woman took the stage at Proctor High School Monday to share her story and raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Paige Anderson was in an accident five years ago when the car she was in was hit by a bus. She's paralyzed from the stomach down and in a wheelchair.