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.
Duluth Man Charged With Second-Degree Murder After Allegedly Killing His Mother
The man who allegedly admitted to killing his 71-year old mother with a knife Tuesday was formally charged with second-degree murder Thursday and will undergo a judge-ordered psychological review before his case goes any further.
All Day, Every Day School for Virginia 4-Year-Olds
Parkview Elementary in Virginia has launched a pilot program for 4-year-olds, which enables them to go to school all day, every day, for free.
Superior Trucking Company Loses a Ton of Weight
Employees at a Superior trucking company have lost a combined total of 2,100 pounds in the last year and a half. They celebrated with a 5K on their newly installed walking path on Thursday.
One Suspect Arrested, One at Large in Last Month's Central Hillside Shooting
Duluth Police have arrested one of two suspects they believe were involved with an August 19 shooting on the Central Hillside.
Preview: Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra's Opening Night
The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra is opening its new season in a big way with the help of world-renowned piano soloist John Novacek.