SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--More than 1,000 athletes and coaches are converging onto the campus of Missouri State University this weekend for the state's Special Olympics.
This is the third year that Springfield has played host to the games. The organization has nearly 4 million athletes in more than 170 countries and 15,000 of them are here in Springfield.
Special Olympics Missouri offers sports competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Leading up to the games, the participants train just like any other athlete would.
While in Springfield, the athletes are competing in track and field, swimming, and powerlifting.
Afterwards, they receive medals for their performance.
Emily Carroll is one of the many Special Olympics athletes competing and says there's one sport in particular that she enjoys.
"I love running because it's so much fun," says Carroll.
Rich Black of Warren County Handicap Services says, "Emily's always wanting to do her best at everything she does and she loves this because of the sportsmanship. She's probably the most sportsmanlike person I've seen. She's always encouraging other athletes on the other team when we're playing them."
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