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'It all culminates here:' Special Olympics Wisconsin Spring Games kick off in Oshkosh

Posted at 5:07 PM, Apr 12, 2024

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — This weekend, almost 900 hundred athletes from across the state are competing in the Special Olympics Wisconsin Spring Games.

  • Hundreds of athletes will compete in basketball skills, team basketball and swimming.
  • Games begin Friday and go until Sunday.
  • The organization also offers free ear and eye exams for Special Olympics athletes.

The Special Olypmics features athletes with intellectual disabilities that range in age from eight to 94, who will compete in three-on-three basketball, basketball skills, and swimming.
Senior Director of Sports for Special Olympics Wisconsin Danny Kuklinski said the athletes have been working to qualify for the spring games for months.

"The joy, the courage, the bravery that all of these athletes have every single day, not only in their lives, but then practicing... it all culminates here," Kuklinski said.

Special Olympics Wisconsin President and CEO Chad Hershner said the organization aims to recognize the athleticism of all athletes.

"If you talk to some of our athletes, they’ll tell you, ‘This is my family. This is my friends. This is a place where I belong. This is a place where it’s home for me. I can be me,'" Hershner said.

Special Olympics Wisconsin Officials said this weekend, they’re also offering free eye and ear exams for thousands of Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes.

The festivities kick off Friday night, and the games continue on Saturday and Sunday.