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Special Olympics Athletes to Compete

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EUGENE, Ore. — A special group of athletes is living their dream this weekend by competing in the Special Olympics. They’ve been practicing, perfecting, and they’re ready to compete in events like the long jump and the shot put.

David Iverson, 27, is competing in the softball throw, plus the 50 yard dash and team relay.

He’s part of the track and field team representing Eugene and Springfield at the Special Olympics Summer State Games in Newberg. They’ll be joining 1,500 participants in track and field, bocce golf and softball.

“They do things they never thought they could do, and that’s what’s the real joy in this,” said Ted Barker, Special Olympics Local Program Coordinator.

“This kids got to work at it. When they make a basket or run a 50-yard dash. They are so proud of what they do,” said David’s dad, Jim Iverson.

“Special Olympics has been great for Dave, and it’s been great for me,” Jim Iverson said.

He’s a former coach and always a cheerleader. Iverson says he’s proud of his son David whether he wins or not.

“What’s funny about David is if he is in the lead sometimes we have to do a one of these (raises his hands). He’s done it. He’s been leading. And he ‘raises the roof’ and takes off running again. He’s lost a couple,” said

He’s also won a few.

David is a man of few words, but when he speaks, you feel his excitement.

It’s their moment of glory and their moment to shine. Win or lose, they are champions.

The Special Olympics torch made its way from Junction City to Corvallis Thursday. Competitors along with the Flame of Hope will arrive in Newberg Saturday for the opening ceremony.

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