Thousands of athletes, coaches, parents participate in Oklahoma Special Olympics Winter Games

The 18th annual Oklahoma Special Olympics Winter Games are happening this weekend in Norman, as thousands of athletes compete.

Organizers say more than 10,000 participants, along with parents, coaches, friends and family are on the campus of The University of Oklahoma for this weekend’s event.

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Jon Travers has been involved with special Olympics since his son was 8 years old. His son was one of about 45 members representing the team Ten Tulsa this weekend in Norman.

“It’s a very big deal for our athletes and our parents,” Travers said. “It’s one of the two statewide competitions that we go to every year – we have the summer games in Stillwater and the Winter Games here in Norman.”

Basketball is the main event Saturday, with tournaments taking place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Competitions began Thursday. Aquatics, bowling and volleyball are also among the other sports being played.

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“It’s more exciting every year,” said coach Molly Faucault of Broken Arrow. “We grow and we grow and we grow. This year, we brought 47 athletes, and the first time that I first came with my own son, there was only one child."

The Winter Games draw athletes from 14 areas of the state.

“Honestly I don’t know who has more fun the parents, or the families or the athletes,” Faucault said.

For more information, visit sook.org

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