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Special Olympians Earn More Than A Medal

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) We all face obstacles in one form or another.

"We have some that are in wheelchairs, ages eight to 85, said Special Olympics Iowas Eastern Regional Director Adrienne Johnson.

But maybe some are just better at overcoming what stands in their way.

"Is it exciting being here guys? Especially going through the first stage and Jackie is carrying the torch today, said Team Unified Coach Jeremy Oswald.

These Special Olympic Athletes and their family members know all about obstacles. Even when theyre not competing in a state bowling tournament, everyday life can be a challenge.

"Making sure that there's work for them, said Sharon Grams, whose son is an athlete. Making sure that they have activities that they can participate in."

But today, everybody gets to participate and everybody goes home a winner.

Nobody cares if they do bad or do good. They can go out there and be themselves, said Oswald.

But were not talking about just the athletes.

"It warms my heart to see Jackie come out and play basketball and I can teach her how to shoot a hoop and just have fun with the game instead of having it be competitive, said Oswald.

Were not even talking about bowling anymore.

"Making new friends and meeting the volunteers is a big part of what happens at all of our competitions, said Johnson.

Relationships building community that athletes and their families might not always find somewhere else.

"The friendships that are happening that is just so cool that you or I or anyone else can have, these guys don't have that, said Grams.

Well, maybe not before today.
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