Hawaiian Special Olympic Athletes In National Competition

HONOLULU (KHNL)- Almost two dozen of Hawaii's Special Olympians flew to Iowa this weekend to compete against the best athletes in the nation, in the first ever USA National Games.

This twenty-three person delegation will represent the Aloha State in games which began Sunday.

Athlete Jennifer Kagihara gushed, "I'm really excited to go to Iowa."

Teammate Christopher Liberato agreed, "Being in Iowa is the most awesome and greatest thing to do."

Special Olympics aims to give year round sports training and competition to its athletes.

Coach Dan Epstein says, "Our athletes have been working really hard, they've been training really hard. We don't know what we're going to be up against but we know they're going to try their best and that's all we can ask for."

Liberato adds, "and we're ready to stay in Iowa, we're ready to play, all we have to do is stay in good defense and block, steal the ball, pass faster than dribbling."

There are 35 hundred Special Olympians competing in this summer's games. The Games end Friday.