MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It's day one of the Special Olympic fall games and more than 1,000 athletes from across Arizona are competing in aquatics, bocce and softball.
The bocce competitions began Friday morning and lasted until 4 p.m. The Special Olympic athletes are paired with a partner who helps them practice, encourages them and competes with them. It's a movement called Unified Sports to Promote Inclusion.
Special Olympics Arizona is actually a global leader for unified sports. Peoria police officer Doug Steele is paired with Wyatt Robishaw and they just won the gold.
The event is completely free and there's even an Olympic Village from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that has games, crafts and even free health screening for Special Olympic athletes.
There's also a charity aspect to all of this as Special Olympics Arizona is celebrating the generosity of their athletes, with many of them constantly volunteering in the community. They're collecting donations for the United Food Bank and other charities to hold booths, so athletes can sign up and volunteer.