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Special Olympics

Tyler Eddy of the Prestin Titans flexes his muscles during the opening of the Special Olympics Summer State Games June 10, 2016 in Twin Falls.

The Special Olympics is all about inspiration. Athletes inspire themselves and others. They learn skills like competition, independence, teamwork and hard work — all skills athletes use to become more active and lead fuller lives.

It’s a pretty good gig for volunteers, too. In our special Big Story report on Sunday previewing this week’s games, volunteer after volunteer lauded their experiences. Many said they get more from contributing to the games than the games get from their time and service.

The Special Olympics’ State Summer Games is Friday and Saturday at Canyon Ridge High School and the city pool. It’s the second consecutive year the games are being held in Twin Falls, where last year the event drew about 1,200 athletes from 30 teams around the state, including several local teams.

The city is lucky to host the Olympics, and not just because of the economic impact. This weekend, Twin Falls will be packed with some of the most inspiring athletes in Idaho.

They deserve your applause and support.

The Special Olympics couldn’t succeed without the help of volunteers and fans. And it’s not too late to get involved.

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“We couldn’t function without them,” said Terry Kinkead, who first volunteered for the Special Olympics when she was 18 and recently retired as the Special Olympics coordinator for Cassia County and a special education teacher at Burley High School. “High school kids working with those who have special needs, it will help them in their own lives, whether as a co-worker, community member or employer. Or you never know, it could be in your own family. It educates them, and then they are like ambassadors all over the place.”

To volunteer at Special Olympics’ State Summer Games in Twin Falls, register online at http://bit.ly/2qgzZCA. The website lists volunteer descriptions and how many positions are available.

Spectators are welcome, too. Admission is free to all events, including the opening ceremony 7 p.m. Friday at the high school. Games begin at 9 a.m. the next morning, also at the high school, and the city pool. Sports include basketball, weightlifting, cycling and track and field, plus the swimming events. The closing ceremony is 6:30 p.m. at Canyon Ridge, with a dance and party to follow.

Hope to see you there.

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