LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Athletes from across East Texas competed Saturday in the track and field events for this area's Special Olympics "Spring Games".
Almost 300 competitors showed off their skills, and coordinators of the event say that a large portion of that number are being filled by athletes new to competing.
"Over the years, you see some of the same people, so it's good to see some new faces," said coordinator, Anthony Key. "People like Tyler ISD, Pinetree. You know they haven't been participating as long as the other teams have. So, we're glad to have all them and the ones that have been here before that, as well."
And, the returning athletes are more than happy to give out tips.
"The strategy is you just have to do it and keep your head held high," said seasoned athlete, Stephen Lokey. "And, keep your eyes open and stay focused."
But, no matter if their new or have been competing since day one, those involved in putting on the Special Olympics all say they see the same spirit.
"I understand the importance and the need for competition," Key said. "So, if I can help provide that opportunity for another kind of athlete, then I'm all about it."
All of the athletes who participated in Friday's and Saturday's games are eligible to compete in the state-wide Summer Games in Arlington. But, according to Key, the Upshur County Crew Track team, the Mabank Cycling and Track Teams, and the Tyler Rose Cycling team are the only groups who have chosen to attend.