Jefferson City hosts Missouri Special Olympics Outdoor Games

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Special Olympics outdoor games will kick off Friday. This year it will be held in Jefferson City at different locations including a new Special Olympics training facility that opened two months ago.

This year marks The Special Olympics 50th year of existence and the 5th year the Missouri outdoor games has been held in Jefferson City. 

Special Olympics Missouri is an organization that utilizes the love of sports to instill confidence and success for intellectually disabled youth and adults. Outdoor games that will be played this weekend include Bocce, Flag football, Golf, Softball and tennis. 

In August, Special Olympics Missouri moved into a brand new complex that includes training rooms, a free healthcare clinic and soccer, flag football, and softball fields. Campus host and Olympics athlete for 19 years, Derek Sandbothe says this new facility is more like a dream come true. 

"I have always wanted to work for this company, it has done so much for me and my life." Sandbothe said, "It has brought me from a low point and before Special Olympics I thought I was nothing."

Sanboth gives tours of the new facility and will also be participating in the softball games during the Olympics alongside many other Missouri athletes. 

Digital media coordinator Kayla Hull says that they are expecting 1,100 athletes in Jefferson City this weekend coming from all over the state. 

Danny Crane will be participating in the bocce ball competition Friday morning and says the best part about the Olympics is all the people that come out. 

"The most exciting part is meeting new friends when there's people all over the state coming," Crane said. 

The Olympics will start Friday morning and run events through Sunday afternoon. 

Hull says volunteers for events are still needed and sign-ups can be found on the Missouri Special Olympics website.