Athletes have a blast competing in the Special Olympics

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It was all about fun and everyone goes home a winner, but the athletes at the Special Olympics take the games very seriously.

Participant Dale Seymour was walking around showing off his gold medal he won in bowling.

"G-O-L-D gold," Seymour said.

He would show anyone his medal but he was not too quick to share his secret to winning.

"I can't tell you," Seymour said.

Barrett Mahae gave it all he got in the 400 meter run.

Mahae said, "That went pretty good I'm proud about it and I'm glad I didn't stop."

Walking was John Williams's forte, he took off from the start line like a champ.

Williams said, "I want to show you the gold."

In all he claimed two first place victories at the games, partly due to his new friend Allen Mcalerney with the 335th Training Squad at Keesler.

Mcalerney said, "He loves hugs. You give him a hug when he wins so he goes out there and gets it, it's awesome."

The smiles on the athletes faces is what motivates the state CEO and President of the Special Olympics Helen Parish.

"So many of them sadly have little else, this is the highlight of their life," Parish said. "We had a little girl one time carried to the world games that had never been out of Neshoba County until Keesler she marched into the Yale Bowl in front of 80,000 people and won two gold medals. That's why we do it."

This is the athletes day to shine and to realize how special they are.

For many, including Seymour, they are already looking forward to the next games.

Seymour said, "I'm going to win another gold medal."

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