Olympians perform in a special way

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    By Marilyn Lau

    Uintah’s Special Olympics soccer team has a unique way of competing.

    During a soccer match at the Utah Special Olympics Summer Games at BYU, Uintah’s team was ahead.

    Instead of continuing their scoring streak, the team members decided they would not score until their opponents caught up.

    “The Olympics for us is about playing. It does not matter what place we get,” said Aaron Young, Uintah’s soccer and track coach.

    After three days of competition, the Special Olympics Summer Games ended Saturday, June 3.

    Athletes competed in track and field, cycling, softball, soccer and equestrian events.

    “The Games were very successful this year. We had a few snags, but were able to accommodate those changes easily,” said Brigette Nelson, assistant Games director.

    “The management team, who organized this summer’s Games, is already looking forward to next year, and many will help out with the Fall and Winter Games,” Nelson said.

    Over 1,100 athletes and coaches statewide came to BYU’s track and field facilities for the Games.

    “These athletes have all the things in the world to complain about and don’t. They win because they give it everything they’ve got,” said Young, who has coached for the Special Olympics for eight years.

    The Special Olympics motto is “let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

    “The athletes follow the same guidelines as any other athletic competition, and they succeed. All their hard work pays off. It gives them a sense of accomplishment,” Nelson said.

    With another Summer Games over, Uintah’s Special Olympics team will start preparing for the Fall Invitational.

    Most athletes participate in the Special Olympics year-round, Young said.

    They enjoy being active, he said.

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