Wisconsin athletes training for Special Olympics USA games

Special Olympics athletes from across the state are training to represent Team Wisconsin at this summer’s national competition, the USA Games in Seattle. The event, like the Olympics, occurs once every four years, and Wisconsin is sending 54 athletes to compete.

Mark Wolfgram is overseeing the team for Special Olympics Wisconsin. He says the Games field competitors of all skills. “They’re an athlete, and some of them can compete at any level,” Wolfgram said. “It should be looked at as, they’re an athlete. They’re not a Special Olympics athlete. They’re an athlete.”

While participating in National or World Games is often a once in a lifetime opportunity, Michelle Buchanan of Brown Deer is going for a second time. What she remembers from her first time, “It was hot. It was hot. It was like 101 in Nebraska.”

Michelle played tennis at the 2010 Special Olympics USA Games in Lincoln, Nebraska. This time she’ll be competing in track and field, leaving for Seattle at the end of June. It will be a celebration for the whole family.

Michelle’s mom, Deb, helps her train and is one of her biggest fans. “We do a lot of things together because of Special Olympics, which is really, we enjoy seeing her achieve the sports that she love to do and trying out different sports over all these years. She’s done all the sports.”

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