You may not have any sort of personal connection, but the Special Olympics in Grand Junction will give you something to cheer about.

The Special Olympics Colorado Summer Games will kick off Friday evening at 7:30 with opening ceremonies at Stocker Stadium. Just like the parade of international athletes at the Summer and Winter Olympics, special athletes from all across the state will march into the stadium with their respective teams. It's definitely a heart-touching and inspirational sight to see.

On Saturday and Sunday,some 1000 athletes will compete in various sports including track and field, aquatics, soccer, and powerlifting.

Track and field events happen at Stocker Stadium, while other events are held on the campus of Colorado Mesa University. All events are free and open to the public.  You can check out the schedule here.

Of course, the stands will be filled with friends and family members, but, some of these athletes may not have anyone there to cheer them on. What you quickly realize is that these games aren't all about winning, they are about competing and participating.  That fact alone is likely to cause you to cheer loudly for every single athlete you see.

Each of these athletes has a particular disability of varying degrees. But, the spirit of each one is truly an inspiration. If you are free Friday night or have some time on Saturday, I would strongly encourage you to take an hour or two to be a cheering spectator. Your presence, your voice, and your encouragement would mean so much to these special athletes.

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