Respect, integrity, and accomplishment ran deep at the Special Olympics Minnesota spring games at the University of St. Thomas during the campus’ spring break.
For president and CEO David Dorn, the decision for St. Thomas to host the games became quite clear.
“When they started building this facility,” Dorn said. “We said that this is absolutely the perfect place for us to have these games because we’ve always looked for a place that you could have swimming and basketball under one roof.”
Compiling the efforts of more than 1,900 athletes and 850 coaches, the games showcased talent both on and off the court.
Special Olympics athlete Brad Thortsen said the spring games give everyone an opportunity to shine.
“If you put your mind to whatever you put your mind to, as far as in life whether it’s fishing or basketball or the classroom, you can go a long ways in life,” Thortsen said.
For Special Olympics Minnesota coach Morgan Johnson, the games bring together all walks of life.
“Look around,” Johnson said. “There’s so many people, so many different cultures that are represented, different personality types.”
With the help of more than 20 organizations and hundreds of volunteers, the spring games shoots for one goal year to year.
More than 20 organizations and hundreds of volunteers helped put the games together. However, Dorn said the goal is to bring awareness to the involvement people can have in Special Olympics Minnesota.
“To spread that word that whether or not you have an intellectual disability or you don’t, there’s a place for you to participate in Special Olympics,” Dorn said. “If you can do that and knock down barriers, you know that’s a great thing.”
Sean Crotty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.