BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — There were big crowds of loud cheering sports fans in Bowling Green on Saturday as one of the biggest sports tournaments of the year kicked off.
Saturday was the first full day of the 2023 State Indoor Winter Special Olympic Games at Bowling Green State University.
Fans, athletes, and coaches came from all over the state for the event and were reminded of the best in what sports has to offer.
The Winter games are the organization's second largest state-level annual tournament of the year with over 1,000 athletes, unified partners, and coaches participating.
“It is a true spirit of competition and we couldn’t be more excited about what this does for our athletes at a state event. It’s something they look forward to all year long,” said Jessica Stewart, CEO of Special Olympics Ohio.
Athletes took part in basketball skills events as well as basketball games, competitive cheerleading, swimming and other competitions as their families and friends cheered them on enthusiastically from the stands.
But that’s not the only reason for the massive event.
“My favorite part of this weekend is seeing everyone making new friends, just having fun here this weekend,” said Athlete Leader and swimmer Jessica Komjaei.
And that was evident on the faces of all the athletes. Big smiles could be seen all over despite the competitive nature of the event.
Komjaei said it best perhaps.
“It’s not about the medals or the win for me but seeing everybody coming out and cheering.”
This was the third year that the event took place at BGSU and organizers were happy with the support they receive from the community.
The organization’s Summer Games takes place at the end of June at the Ohio State University.
The organization also holds Outdoor Winter Games at Perfect North Ski Resort in Indiana with alpine skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding.
Click here if you would like to donate to the organization and help make events like this possible.
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