SALEM, Va. – The 2020 Summer Olympics Games finally get underway in Tokyo next week, but the Olympic athletes aren’t the only ones excited to return to competition.
Several local athletes are also excited to get back to their sports through Special Olympics Virginia.
“I like my bowling. I like my fishing,” said Christopher Curtis, an athlete with Special Olympics who has competed in a variety of sports.
If you ask Christopher or any of the other athletes some of the highlights of their experiences and competitions with Special Olympics they have plenty of stories to share.
“I ran track and got the gold medal out of it,” said Joshua Crump, an athlete from Roanoke.
“I was surprised that on the last day I did very well and got us the first,” said Ashley Peregoy, recalling winning a statewide team bowling competition with Special Olympics.
For more than a year the pandemic has limited in-person activities for Special Olympics Virginia, which is a source of pride and joy for athletes, coaches and volunteers.
“Special Olympics means home, tradition and stuff like that. That’s why I play this,” Joshua said.
Josh Norris, who plays a variety of sports through Special Olympics, said, “Without Special Olympics, I wouldn’t be running right now.”
After a year of surprises, 10 News Anchor Brittny McGraw and Chief Meteorologist Jeff Haniewich had a special surprise for Christopher, Joshua, Ashley and Josh: they shared a surprise announcement with the four athletes that they were headed to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games!
They will be among the more than 5,500 athletes competing next year in Orlando.
Joshua and Josh will compete in track and field, while Ashley and Christopher will compete in bowling.