Athletes dominate at Special Olympics Texas Winter Games

 It's the last day of competition for thousands of athletes participating in the Special Olympics Texas Winter Games.
Their energy is still going strong.

It's a competition where everyone walks away a winner.
"It was easy but just take your time," says Brandon Harbrecht, Special Olympics Texas athlete.
Brandon Harbrecht received a third place medal in bowling on Sunday during a competition at Dart Bowl.
He's one of 2,731 athletes who competed this weekend in the annual statewide Special Olympics Texas Winter Games, that's a record turnout.
"Dedicated athletes who put in blood, sweat and tears from the start on Friday, until the last round on Sunday. Just go, go, go, go, go. At the victory dance last night, they were like dancing machines. You think they would be exhausted," says Catherine Kuchar, key volunteer of awards, Special Olympics Texas.
The categories included bowling, powerlifting and volleyball.
Those who participated were vying for a medal or a state championship.
"They like getting the awards. It's showing they accomplished something. My daughter has about one hundred medals now," says Linda Lipperdt, coach, Special Olympics Texas.
Linda Lipperdt has been a coach with Special Olympics Texas for 35 years.
She got involved after her daughter's school didn't offer training.
"Big teams, little teams. It's just been a real heartwarming blessing," says Lipperdt.
We're told the best part about competing is the team support.
Athletes get to connect with each other by singing, dancing and playing games.     
"Incredible. I love Special Olympics. This is my third year with them and it's contagious. Once you start, you can't stop. I mean, it's amazing to see the athletes, how excited they get, all the training they put in. I mean you have bowlers out here scoring 162 and 170. They're really, really good," says Kuchar.
But the training isn't over yet, many start preparing for the next competition.

Special Olympics Texas has six statewide events annually: summer games, equestrian, sailing/kayaking, fall classic, winter games and flag football.




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