Hundreds of Athletes Converge for Special Olympics Showdown

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas Athletes are pouring into College Station to battle it out in a Special Olympics showdown.

Suzanne Anderson with Special Olympics Texas said around 1,800 athletes will be in town over the weekend for the Fall Classic event. Participants will be competing in bocce, aquatics, golf and soft ball.

Anderson said this event is one of the biggest around for the Special Olympic athletes.

"The athletes have been training for eight to ten weeks in the sport they're competing in," said Anderson. "So it is their opportunity to shine."

Anderson said the games offer the athletes a chance to have fun, meet other people and do a little traveling.

"All things that we can take for granted, but they don't get to do them very often," said Anderson.

The games also bring a boost to the local economy. Trevor Gambrell with the Hilton College Station said they usually book around 100 rooms each night during the two-day event.

"Brings in a lot of tourism in the community. And it really does bring in a lot of rooms and a lot of business for the area," said Gambrell.

Robert Aguirre with the Four Points by Shraton said they're also feeling the economic boost.

""It brings in not only revenue to hotels and restaurants in the area. But it also helps with tax dollars," said Aguirre.

The competition kicks off Friday morning at 8 on the Texas A&M Campus. Events will be held at the Natatorium, the Rec Sports Field and on Briarcrest for golf.

Admission is free, and Anderson said volunteers are still needed.

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