Something Special

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

After one half of play, it was clear the Stevens Point Special Olympics soccer team was poised for a win.

The team had built a multi-goal lead. That's great news from the aspect of winning the game, but if you talk to these athletes, winning is hardly the first thing that comes to their minds.

"It's fun and you get to meet new people. I like doing it," said Ashley Ablewski, Stevens Point soccer player.

"…getting to play and having fun and meeting new people," said Josh Soik, soccer player.

With thousands of athletes and their families at the Special Olympics, the games are as much a chance to socialize as they are to compete against each other.

And the organizers know this. That's why they help promote the social atmosphere with things like bingo games and karaoke for the athletes who are in between competitions.

Volunteers at the games say the whole thing is very refreshing in an age where many more well-known athletes are at best bad examples and at worst criminals.

"This is what sports is all about, the enthusiasm, the competition, the sportsmanship, and having fun and doing something you truly love," said Chris Doubek, Stevens Point soccer coach.

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