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Ready, Set, Go: The Special Olympics Take Off in the Triangle

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RALEIGH — Raleigh and Chapel Hill hosted seven sports, 1,500 athletes, 600 coaches, and more than 1,000 volunteers on Saturday. The Special Olympics Summer Games were off and running at North Carolina State University, which hosted the track and field events.

Jason Clark trained for the 400 meter race for months, and he took a gold medal with him when he returned to Caldwell County. There was plenty of action Saturday in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

"I got the 400 meter medal," Jason said. "I got first place cause I gave it all my might and I told my mom and dad that I'd win it for them."

Winning isn't everything at these games. Whether participants take home a first place medal or a ribbon just for trying, all of these athletes go home victorious.

"It just makes them just really feel good about themselves and it's a wonderful achievement for them," Special Olympic Coach Susan Mackie said.

Closing ceremonies were held Sunday, and the Special Olympics Summer Games ended with a look toward the future.

At Sunday's closing ceremonies, some athletes were chosen to represent North Carolina at next summer's World Games as part of Team USA at the international competition.

The event will be held in the Triangle, from June 26 through July 4.

Seven-thousand athletes from 150 countries are expected to participate


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