BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Keesler Air Force Base played host to the 29th Mississippi Special Olympics over the weekend. Athletes from across the state made their way onto the base to compete for qualifying spots in numerous summer sporting events.
If one thing was for sure, these athletes were ready to win.
"He's going down. He's going down," said Dale Seymour taunting a fellow competitor.
Athletes with special needs from over a dozen districts throughout the state came together for some friendly competition. For the people at Keesler, this event is something to look forward to each year.
Brigadier General Patrick Higby is in his second year overseeing the base and making sure the games go smoothly. To him, this kind of an event is something that shows the greatness of our country.
"America represents embracing those that are different than us," he said.
He loves seeing the camaraderie the day brings.
"This is a phenomenal opportunity for us to serve the community. To embrace some of these Special Olympic athletes and also to develop some character within our airmen," said Higby.
Airmen act as sponsors for the athletes. This was Devon Brown's first year being able to sponsor a Special Olympic athlete. His favorite part?
"Seeing the smiles on their faces," said Brown.
For the athletes, it was nothing but a good time, a couple of medals, and some words of wisdom.
"Keep up the good work and keep trying and come out with the gold," said medal winner, Davis.
A handful of athletes from Saturday qualified to compete in the world games of the Special Olympics.