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Five Valleys Spring Games hit 40-year milestone for Special Olym - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Five Valleys Spring Games hit 40-year milestone for Special Olympics

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Dennis Bragg photo. Dennis Bragg photo.
FRENCHTOWN -

Special Olympics athletes are all about dedication and spirit. Yet in striving to meet their own personal challenges they help all of us believe a lot more in them and ourselves.

The sunshine was bright at the Frenchtown High School track Wednesday morning, but it wasn’t as radiant as the smiles from the athletes, their coaches and parents gathering for the opening ceremonies of the Five Valleys Summer Games.

The track and field events were moved to Frenchtown because of work still underway at Missoula County Stadium. But the Frenchtown fans were out in force, welcoming teens from all over Western Montana.

This year over 337 athletes on 26 different teams were on deck for the track and field. Combined with bocce ball and swimming, that total swells to more than 550.

Enthusiasm was high as the Five Valleys games are hitting their 40th anniversary. That’s four decades of teaching a valuable lesson for all of us. 

“With hard work and perseverance just about anything is possible, and these athletes demonstrate that every time they come to competition," said Special Olympics Montana Area Director Jose Diaz. "They bring their best and you know they feel better. They feel like champions and we see champions out there every day. It’s just an incredible experience all around.” 

The bocce ball events will be at Playfair Park back in Missoula Thursday, with swimming Thursday in the YMCA pool.

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