50th Special Olympics kicks off with Opening Ceremonies

Local News

Twenty-one hundred athletes with physical and mental disabilities and over 700 coaches came from around the state came to State College, to let the games begin…for the 50th time.

Matthew Prosek has an intellectual disability and has been an athlete in the games for 29 years, going back to when he was 14.
Matthew says he has competed in all eight available events of the Summer Olympics over the years.  This year he is competing in tennis.
I enjoy playing tennis, and it’s fun to get out and about and meet new people, Prosek said.
But that’s not all.

Do you ever sit on the bench at Special Olympics?  Matthew’s Mother, Cathleen Prosek, asked him.

No, Matthew said.  That’s right, Cathleen, said.

His Mom, Cathleen has been volunteering every year Matthew has competed.

I volunteer for Matt, cause I see how much it has helped him to gain confidence in his life, and be healthy and have fun at sports, Cathleen, said.
She says throughout the years the Summer Games have not only seen more athletes, but also new venues.
Moving to the larger venues, when we moved to Medlar Field that was wonderful, Cathleen said.  We were at Jeffrey Field and we were sitting on the grass for many years, because that was the biggest area that could hold us, and then finally moving to the Pegula.
Cathleen says she thinks the Games have continued to grow because they teach athletes how to be better people, like their motto, “Let me win, but if I cannot win let me brave in the attempt.”
The games go through Saturday at 4pm.


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