MANSFIELD, P.a. (18 NEWS) - The 31st annual Tioga County Special Olympics were held this afternoon at Mansfield University with nearly 250 athletes competing in events such as walking and running, both 100 meter and 200 meter, a tennis ball toss, a softball throw, a standing long jump as well as a running long jump. For many of these athletes it's not just about the competition.
"It's not about competing," Said Jesse Monks, a special Olympics participant, "For me I just come out here to make new friends and get to know everybody."
"I'm also having a good time like this and then and enjoy this weather out here," Todd Crumb said, who is also a Special Olympics participant, "and watch everybody compete in their events like that."
Organizers say this was the biggest turn out that they have seen for this event both athletes and nearly 400 volunteers were present this afternoon and they say it's a great opportunity to help the athletes use their skills for something that brings them so much joy.
Mark Sakowski, a volunteer for the special Olympics for the last five years says it's a great thing to volunteer for such a great event. "It's just great to really see the athletes really enjoying the competition, being able to do things where their skills, they're exercising their skills and it's really just fun to see their enjoyment of it."
Others were volunteering for the event for their first time like RJ Farrell who says that it's a great opportunity to come out and help people have fun. They even had an Olympic village with a dunk tank and just in case anyone got hungry they could grab some ice cream too.
The ice cream was thanks to Sarah Alexander who usually volunteers with the field events was serving the sweet treat to athletes and spectators all thanks to the Tioga County Dairy Promotion Team.
Alexander says that she just enjoys coming to the event no matter what she is doing because she is volunteering for a great cause and she enjoys seeing the happy faces competing in the events.
Coordinator Addie Milheim says that it's all about the the athletes being able to have great competition while also having a lot of fun.
If you would like to volunteer for the Tioga County Special Olympics in the future you can contact their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tiogacountyspecialolympics/ where you can contact organizers and let them know you would like to help out!
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