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Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes participate in Regional Games at Cuesta College

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Posted at 6:23 PM, May 05, 2023

Friday was a big day for Special Olympics athletes on the Central Coast.

More than 350 athletes from local schools and day programs participated in the San Luis Obispo County Regional Games at Cuesta College.

According to Jody Watty, Director of the Special Olympics in San Luis Obispo County, they started meeting again a couple of months ago to prepare for the event.

On Friday, there were around 350 athletes signed up and over 1,000 volunteers.

It was the first Special Olympics event in the county in nearly four years.

Athletes have been preparing and training for weeks to compete. It is a chance for athletes of all ages to show what they can do while bringing the community together.

Athletes took part in events like track and field, basketball, swimming, and cornhole.

Local law enforcement agencies were there cheering on the athletes and handing out medals.

Jon Geisler has participated in the Regional Games for years and is happy to see things back in action. He says it allows him to feel safe and have fun with his friends.

Geisler’s dad, Frank Geisler, is thankful their son is part of the Special Olympics and is glad the games are finally back.

“It’s like a rebirth every time. It makes you feel happy, proud, and tear up," Frank Geisler said.

The Special Olympics Southern California does year-round sports training for children and adults with disabilities. The organization offers 13 sports for athletes to enjoy at different times throughout the year.