MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — Over 450 Illinois Special Olympic athletes came to the stateline over the weekend for the 2022 Fall Games.
The Olympians participated in volleyball at Harlem High School. There was also unified volleyball with teams of those with, and without, intellectual disabilities.
Equestrian competitions took place at BraveHearts at the Bergmann Centre in Poplar Grove. Spectators were back in the stands this year to cheer on the athletes.
“Watching our athletes grow from when they were younger, and now they’re adults, still competing to this day,” said Brianna Beers, director of state championships for Special Olympics Illinois. “It’s just an amazing feeling to watch them grow into such great athletes and have the social comradery with their friends. It’s very important.”
There is also a social aspect to the games. There is a dance and Halloween party, where the athletes can eat and talk together.