POTEAU (KFSM) -- Athletes of all ages are hitting the track and field Wednesday (March 22) to compete for a chance to qualify for state as the Oklahoma Special Olympics competition kicks off in Poteau.
85 athletes ranging from 8-years-old to 60-years-old will be running, sprinting and so much more in the competition. They’re hoping to win a ribbon and a chance to go to state coming up in May.
In order to qualify for the statewide Special Olympics, these athletes must compete in local events and receive the right scores.
The events include 50, 100 and 400 meter runs, wheelchair races, softball throw and long jump. For some, it takes about eight weeks of training to prepare, and others prep all year long for the competition.
No matter the outcome, the head coach in Poteau said she's proud of her team as they work toward their goal. “To see them out here and see them excel, I mean you can’t help but cry," said Coach Tanna Weaver.
According to Weaver, “It’s their day to shine and show what they can do.” She adds, “These kids are limited on what they can do, but this is one day they don’t have limits. They just succeed with no expectations."
The competition kicks off at 10 a.m. at Poteau High School.
The state summer games are happening May 17th to May 19th at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.