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Special Olympians Gear up for Weekend's Spring Games

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"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." That is the motto of the Special Olympics.

This year's spring games will be held this Saturday, May 2nd, at Chenango Valley High School. 550 athletes will participate in all kinds of events.

"The Special Olympics shows respect to other poeple, and not being mean to them," says Richard Switzer, a special Olympian.

Respect for one another: it's one of the many reasons parents and Special Olympians like Richard say participating in the games is so gratifying.

"They get to come out and they get to participate and they have fun--they're just proud of themselves--no matter if they win or lose they just love to do it," said Sharon Mannix, Mother of Special Olympian.

From softball throwing to long jump, athletes are able to pick from two events and a relay. But, coordinators say it's not only about the competition.

"We'll cheer for the ones that jump a foot and a half just as loud as we cheer for the ones that jump seven feet," said John Crosby, the Coordinator for Broome-Tioga Special Olympics.

While organizers do say it's about getting outside and getting the athletes together, some athletes are getting in the competitive spirit.

"I'm going to break the shotput record. I'm favored to win. I had 23 yards in practice rounds," said Earl D. Harris Jr, a Special Olympian.

But what is the true purpose of the Special Olympics for these athletes? Richard says it's simple.

"My friend Josh Brown is in a wheelchair, but I don't look at him because he's in a wheelchair. He's a person. He has feelings; he has emotion. And that's what Special Olympics is: emotion," said Richard Switzer.