Special Olympics athletes ready for summer games - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Special Olympics athletes ready for summer games

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More than 3,000 athletes will be heading to Illinois State University June 14-16. Thirty-seven of those athletes are from Decatur.

Ashley Cain is ready, "I am going to try but if I do try, I am probably going to get the gold medal."  Ready to grab the gold in the 100 meter race in next weekend's summer games.

"I love it," Cain said. "I just love to be able to have more friends... having pizza parties and just hanging out with my friends."

The weekend is about spending time with friends, family and of course, competing.

"I just do the best as I can and be good at it," Cain said.

The 18 year old has qualified for the games since she was eight.

Paula Boys has had the chance to watch athletes like Cain improve over the years as the Special Olympics athletic director of Dream Catchers, a parent program for Special Olympic athletes.

"To watch them grow and become better and better athletes is fantastic," Boys said.

The event is a culmination of hard work.

"It's fantastic to see the kids' reactions as they're running across the timeline and everything," Boys said.

And it's all about doing what they love,"I love to run," Cain said enthusiastically. And having fun doing it.

The summer games include competition in all types of sports from softball to gymnastics to equestrian. Athletes going to this summer's games qualified in May in an area or district competition.

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