Special Olympics athletes compete and inspire in basketball competition

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Nearly 300 athletes from around the Panhandle gathered to compete in the Panhandle Special Olympics basketball competition this weekend.

Every dribble, pass and shot is taken with pride.

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"My favorite part is when we actually get out there and we start you know competing," said Heather Handley, Special Olympics competitor. "You know it's not really about winning, it's just about getting out there and having fun."

Special Olympics Coordinator Jacob Ray said the competition has only gotten stronger.

"You know the fact that Special Olympics has been around for 50 years and it's still going strong and still growing,"  said Ray. "You know, it's something to be proud of and I'm honored to be apart of it."

Every game these athletes play, it helps them discover strengths, abilities and joy.

Their athleticism also inspires people across the Panhandle.

"You really see a love for the game, and an appreciation for teamwork and respect when you come and watch these athletes," said volunteer Ethan Douglass. "They play it the right way."

We all can learn a thing or two from these athletes.

"You know athletes is why we do this. their character, their courage, their bravery getting out there and just playing their hearts out," said Ray. "It's awesome, and they do compete hard."

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