Athletes participate in Special Olympics at Red Bank High - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Athletes participate in Special Olympics at Red Bank High

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Nearly 400 athletes where ready to compete in the Special Olympics Saturday afternoon.

Participants competed in numerous events in hopes to win the blue ribbon.

"It's exciting, let me tell you it's exciting and the athletes are excited and that excites me," said Judy Rogers, Area Director.

For 46 years the Special Olympics has given these athletes an opportunity to shine.

"They use to put these people in institutions and never see them and now they're out in the community and they're working, they're participating in sports, they're doing the things they like to do and that's the way it should be," said Rogers.

Susan Turner has been participating for over 30 years.

Last year she tells me she took home 1st place in the 50 meter walk, this year she hopes to bring home the same title in the 100 meter.     

"I've been practicing, but not much, I just love the competition," said Turner.

Her mom, Judy tells me she was nervous at first to allow her daughter to participate, not knowing how she would react if she didn't win. But now she couldn't imagine her daughter not competing.  

"That means a lot to our athletes it really does make them feel so good about themselves, it just helps their self-esteem so much," said Judy Turner.

All of the athletes enjoy a friendly competition, but if you ask, they will all agree on what their favorite part is.

"It's great to make new friends and everything," said Susan Turner.

"They love meeting new people and that's what they get to do at all of these events because there is always some new people there to meet," said Rogers.

When the games are over, they're already looking forward to next year.

"I'd love to be here every day," said Aaron.

If you were unable to come out on Saturday, the Chattanooga Special Olympics will be hosting their equestrian games in the fall.
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