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Special Olympics brings smiles to TPS students and families

Special Olympics 512

TOLEDO, OH (WNWO) - An annual competition starts today to encourage children to exercise, to have good sportsmanship, and to never give up. NBC 24 was at Woodward High School to find out what the day's activities mean to those involved.

It's the fourth year the Special Olympics have come to Toledo Public Schools, and, as you walk around, the perseverance of these individuals can't help but put a smile on your face.

Drew Perry participated in multiple events through out the day, including the softball throw, and running the winning leg of the 4-by-100 meter relay. Drew said he had fun, and did his very best during his events.

This wasn't Drew's first year competing. His dad, Michael Perry, says Drew also had good performances at last year's Olympics as well. He adds that the afternoon is a great way for the kids to have fun while being active.

"It lets kids be free. Let's them open up and be like everybody else."

Award ceremonies are held at the end of the day, so the athletes take pride in giving each event their all.

"I ran the 400 meter, and I feel tired," stated Addison Winkler, another athlete who competed in multiple events throughout the day. However, she also added that she had fun, and her favorite part of the day was running the 400-meter relay.

Sue Hess, a teacher with Toledo Public Schools, had already been volunteering with Special Olympics when she decided to bring it to Toledo four years ago.

"The kids that I work with were telling me they were just sitting and doing nothing, or playing video games, or not really active. And I'd been involved with special olympics as volunteer, so I just decided that that's where we're going to go with it. And it has just grown and grown"

Todya was just the first day of competition. The second day will be held on May 19th at Roger's High school.

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