Thousands compete in NC Special Olympics Summer Games

RALEIGH, N.C (WNCN) – The Triangle was center stage for athletes in this year’s North Carolina Special Olympics Summer Games, which started Friday.

Fans took their seats at the North Carolina State University Witherspoon Theatre to loudly cheer on their favorite competitors in the powerlifting competition, just one of a dozen sports played over the weekend.

Organizers say more than 1,800 athletes of all ages and abilities participated in the games hosted in the region, said to be the largest since the games started in 1994.

Those rooting for Saturday’s powerlifters say the sport not only builds physical strength, but also mental strength.

One coach can attest to that, telling CBS North Carolina how one girl overcame bullying through the sport.

“She started to feel better about herself and not really worrying about what people thought and felt about her because she felt good about the person she saw looking back at her in the mirror,” explained Rob Jones, coach of the Mecklenburg County powerlifting team.

The final day of competition is Sunday and it wraps with several award ceremonies.

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