Special Olympics Needs Volunteers
"It's an experience that just makes you feel good," said Lindsey Penick said. "I helped last year and they are so excited to be in a competition at all, to even be able to come here when most of us take things like that for granted."
But, organizers take nothing for granted, including more than 1,000 volunteers.
"We train on site," explained Susan Schaffer, competition coordinator. "We have lots of people come in with no experience in sports. "
Volunteers escort athletes, time events, serve meals and award medals. And volunteers say the look on every athlete's face makes the effort more than worth it.
"Our athletes change the lives of a lot of people when they come out," Schaffer said, "and I think that's important, that they go away with something different."
Penick added, "We need to make something special for them, even though they see something special in everything."
Organizers said you can help by watching the events and cheering the athletes.