Special Olympics encourages many to go for the gold

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June 16, 2012, 5:58 pm
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(NECN: John Moroney) - The thrill of victory and glitter of gold - there's always a lot of both at the Special Olympics summer games.
"I did awesome," said Samuel Paster of Swapscott, Mass. "It was for wheel-chair racing, and I was trying to go real fast. And I did it."

The competition was fierce Saturday at Harvard University for the second day of the games. From track and field, to power lifting and volleyball. These athletes train year-round - hoping to stand on the awards podium and bask in Olympic glory.

"I like to run around the track, and tomorrow I'm doing the 800," said Michael Wilson of Shrewsbury, Mass.

The Special Olympics are more than 40 years old in Massachusetts. Besides the athletes, there 1,200 volunteers who keeps things running. It's a real family affair as well - taking place on Father's Day weekend.

Johnny Hallice and his father have been coming together for years.

"It's a perfect time to be with your children," said John Hallice of Stoneham, Mass.

This is Paster's first Special Olympics, blowing away the competition in the wheel-chair race.

"I felt that I achieved my goal," Paster said.

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics have grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million in more than 170 countries all over the world.

Tags: massachusetts, Special Olympics, Harvard University, John Moroney, athletes, Special Olympics summer games
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