Special Olympics at HVA create playing field for all athletes to shine

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Special Olympics took place at Hardin Valley early this week.

Passion, persistence and performance are all traits you'll see in a Special Olympian.

These athletes long for acceptance and just to be a part of these games.

"[We] focus on the athletes dignity and when we put our athletes out there in a world where they're just like everybody else," said Director Tim Lee.

The Special Olympics oath is "Let me win; and if I can't, let me be brave in the attempt!"

The way these athletes get all their strength is from the hundreds of volunteers and coaches, like coach of the year Sierra Croff.

"To help our kids just feel loved and included; that's really what it's all about," said Croff.

"The athletes want to know that their efforts are being appreciated. I think having the coaches and the volunteers being a part of this is what brings it all together and makes it successful," said Lee.