Minnesota Special Olympics Tri-Fecta Area III Games return post-pandemic

Minnesota Special Olympics Tri-Fecta Area III Games return post-pandemic
Published: Apr. 29, 2023 at 4:04 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2023 at 11:57 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. -- After three years of waiting, the Minnesota Special Olympics Tri-Fecta Area III games are back.

“It’s almost unreal actually,” said Nathan Nylune, an athlete with the United Swim team. “It’s just been a while and it just feels great, it’s great to be back.”

And you could feel the anticipation from the over 80 athletes who spent the last few months preparing for this moment.

“We have done several hours of swimming, many relays, and back-and-forth freestyle, all that type of stuff to prepare for this,” said Nylune.

But after a long hiatus, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing these games to the Lincoln Park Middle School came with a few bumps in the road.

“Athletes are down a little this year because there are a lot of teams that haven’t been competing yet,” said Patrick Stojevich, the Area III Tri-Fecta Director. “Also practicing, trying to find facilities to practice.”

Before the pandemic, over 150 athletes were competing.

“But I am happy to say we are back,” said Stojevich. “We are up and running, and the athletes are ecstatic to get in the pool, dribble some basketballs, and get back into competition.”

No matter the difficulties, excitement was clear, ready to celebrate all the talented athletes who came to compete.

“It’s amazing, they are all champions,” said Beth Adams, the head of delegation for the Proctor Rockin’ Rails.

And of course, have fun.

The winning teams and athletes will go on to compete in the state games that will be held this summer.

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