More than 200 area athletes are preparing for the Special Olympics spring games, which will be April 12 at Marshalltown High School.
The games will include track and field events and swimming and be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Saturday.
No doubt there will be plenty of athletes excited to compete in the games.
T-R FILE PHOTO
Athletes prepare to start a sprint race during last year’s Special Olympics spring games in Marshalltown. The event returns this year on April 12 at Marshalltown High School.
"Special Olympics offers a unique opportunity for these athletes to show their skills," said Jenni Hart, of Marshalltown Parks and Recreation. "All athletes walk away with a ribbon and no matter what place they received they are happy and determined to do better next time."
Hart said the camaraderie among athletes is something special to watch.
"The athletes not only get to compete but they get to see their friends and make new ones," she said.
First place athletes in each activity and division have the opportunity to advance to the Special Olympics state competition at Iowa State University in Ames at the end of May.
Hart said they are always looking for volunteers for the games and she can be reached at 641-754-5715.
"For the volunteers it is one of the most rewarding experiences they have had," Hart said. "We have many that return each year."
Admission to the games is free for the public and concessions will be available for sale.
The event will begin with the parade of athletes between 9 and 9:30 a.m.