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Western New Jersey

Special Olympics athletes go for more than gold

Special Olympics athletes go for more than gold

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Special Olympic 2014 US Games, give these athletes in 16 different sports from all 50 states a time to shine.

"A lot of them don't get any opportunity to do athletic events or athletic competitions," said Lester Loner, a coach for Team Pennsylvania.

"Let us be brave in attempt and that's our goal and support each other," said one participant from Maryland.

That support is not only for teammates, it's for every person that swims, jumps, and runs during the week long event in Princeton, New Jersey.

"We don't really concentrate on the award they win but if we can get them to jump one inch further or run one second faster," said Loner. "That's what we really try to concentrate on."

Coaches say the rest will take care of itself.

"Actually feels great," added Kelly Horn, from Team Pennsylvania. "I got a gold in 1,500, gold in 400, gold in the 800."

Horn loves winning the hardware, but calls her time off the track the best part of the week.

"You get to meet people from all over the states and you get to make a lot of friends," added Horn.

In a day and age where everyone is trying to prove who's the best, these participants compete with the heart of a lion and and always remember there is more to sports than winning.

"Cheer each other on throughout the good times, the bad times, the highs, and the lows, everything," said an athlete competing in aquatics.

"It doesn't really matter what place they get," said Loner. "They're excited whether they get an eighth place ribbon or the gold medal. A lot of the times when you see them they all get together and hold each other's hands and they are all excited about it."

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