Special Olympics athletes go for the gold in Mesa

- It's a test of strength and concentration.

"We have Kyrene, we have Mesa, we have Gilbert, we have different teams from the Four Peaks area," Eve Vance, with Special Olympics, said.

Six hundred Special Olympic athletes starting at age 6 took over lanes one through 20 in Mesa to compete for gold.

"They get to play too and they jump up and down for being here," Vance said.

Nineteen-year-old Damien is a bobcat with the adaptive services program in Scottsdale.

"It's for the athletes, the coach," he said.

Ten-year-old Cole attends Queen Creek Elementary.

"It gives him a chance to do everything every kid is doing," Yvonne Ludwig said.

Educators and parents agree everyone who bowls, strike or not, wins.

"I see the kids being successful, being happy, it's hard to describe the happiness on their face," said Meredith Alaniz, a special education teacher at Queen Creek Elementary School.

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