Special Olympics Texas Winter Games

The Special Olympics Winter Games are February 4-7 in Austin. More than 2,500 athletes from all across the Lone Star State are expected to compete.

This is the 23rd year for the Winter Games and before the competition begins the organization is asking for volunteers to help athletes like Sydney and Haley out.

Sydney Weigand and Haley McDaniel are power lifters and pumping iron has become part of the routine for them.

The power lifting duo is getting some last few practices in before they take on competitors from all over Texas and show everyone just how strong they really are.

Delanie Weigand, Sydney's mom, says, "It's fun watching break stereotypes. They've been breaking stereotypes their whole life and so this is just one more."

Delanie volunteers with Special Olympics. She says the girls work very hard to show up some of the boys.

"It's fun to watch the girls lift as much as some of the boys and how they feel empowered by that, and then they cheer on everyone who is there and love being a part of the community," Delanie says.

Haley and Sydney will be competing against each other. Each want to win gold as much as the other. But medals aside, the girls are best friends.

Sydney says, " I love powerlifting because of my friend Haley. We have lots of fun in Special Olympics and State."

"I like having fun together and do fashion designs together," Haley says.

The two have been inseparable since pre-school and have competed together in sports like basketball, bowling and tennis for the last 15 years. They know the importance of staying active.

That's why the Special Olympics Winter Games is so important and with so many athletes competing the event needs as many volunteers as they can get.

For moms like Delanie, seeing people volunteer means the world.

"The volunteers make this even possible , watching people come out, getting a little bit out of their comfort zone and helping people that are a little bit different from them , but mostly the same, is wonderful to see," Delanie says.

Special Olympics is hoping to have about 2,000 volunteers for the Winter Games. The events will be held at different venus across town.

You can sign up and get more information here.


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