Cleveland area kids set to compete in the Special Olympic Winter Games

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CLEVELAND - More than 160 athletes from all over the Buckeye State are competing in Ohio's Special Olympic Winter Games this week.

"It's joy and it's fun skiing and I like the turns; I like to do the turns,” said Eddie Jones of Cleveland.

Eddie Jones is one of the many athletes competing in the 37th annual Ohio Special Olympic Winter Games at the Brandywine Ski Resort in Peninsula and at Kent State University on Wednesday.

"Actually it's a wonderful time and when I graduate I might not have the opportunity to do the same stuff in college. I'm competing in skiing because I just enjoy it," said Sean Hockey of Cleveland.

The athletes from all over Ohio will be competing in figure skating, speed skating, cross country and downhill skiing.

Nicole Sellman-Penny works at Max Hayes High School in Cleveland, and for the past 15 years she's been bringing her students to compete at the Winter Games.

"It's amazing what they can do, like some kids are like 'oh I don't think I ever be able to do it' and then we give them a shot and they amaze us," Sellman-Penny said.

"I mean, then they're skiing black diamond when you didn't even think they would be able to walk on skis and they are skiing black diamond; it blows your mind,” said Sellman-Penny.

Organizers said the athletes look forward to the Olympic competition every year because it gives them an opportunity to explore outside their everyday routines.

"I think a lot of them, it's the chance to get away and be in a hotel, get around some other people and just have fun and enjoy themselves and compete," said Tim Etienne with the Ohio Winter Special Olympics.


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