Local Special Olympians Go National - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local Special Olympians Go National

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The 2014 winter games in Sochi have come and gone, but the Olympic games here in Chattanooga are just getting underway at the Baylor school.
And for the Marion County Tigers' Brandon Whittmore, this day couldn't come soon enough.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, this is one of the biggest things you can do," says Brandon in advance of the Tigers' showdown against Chattanooga's Orange Grove.
But Brandon may be understating the importance of this Tiger team, which later this summer will represent not only Tennessee Area 4 Special Olympians, but the entire state."They're going to attend the national games for Special Olympics in June in New Jersey," says area director Judy Rogers.

But until then, it's one game at a time, and everything that comes with the sportsmanship and Special Olympics provides, "You just can't imagine, their self-esteem goes up so much, they love meeting new people, they're not afraid of meeting new people," says Rogers of the games positive influence.

Rogers has been involved with Special Olympics for 32 years, and she's seen a lot happen both inside and outside the lines. All of it, for the better, not just for the participants, but for society that has become far more inclusive. "We have come a long way, you know we used to put these people in institutions and lock them away, and now they're a part of the community as much as anybody else."

The Marion County/soon to be Tennessee Tigers, need help in getting to New Jersey this summer for the national games. Those interested in making a financial donation to benefit the team and their travel expenses may do so by contacting Judy Rogers by email at jeebpbr@hotmail.com.

For more information on this year's national games, click on www.2014specialolympics.org

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