The Special Olympics provides a platform for success for thousands of young people in Illinois each year. According to the Special Olympics official website, the group is a “global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world.” The event took place at Eastern Illinois University, and the weather was excellent, unlike last year, when the event was cancelled due to rain. The crowd was electric, and the cheering masses created a respectful and supportive environment for the athletes. These Special Olympians performed exceptionally. The nine Neoga Olympians this year were Dominic Sponsel, Zek Curry, Preston Lake, Sammy Painter, Kadense Turnbow, Sydney Butler, Keith McMahon, Brooklyn Schutte, and Mary Kersey. Some highlights include the following events: Sammy Painter was awarded a gold medal in the 200m run, Sydney Butler earned gold in the 100m run, and Mary Kersey achieved gold in the shot put. Five students will be advancing to state in June at Bloomington. Overall, Neoga came home with 13 gold medals, four silver medals, and one 4th place! Each year, the Special Olympics serve as a wonderful end-of-the-year moment to recognize these students who deserve our attention and respect. Congratulations, Olympians!