Joy of inclusion... that's the theme of this year's special olympics summer games.
Athletes from all over the state are in terre haute to compete this weekend... and they're excited to share why this event means so much to them.
News 10's richard solomon caught up with athletes today and has more on their message for you.
It's new for you tonight at six.
< every year thousands of athletes from all over come to the wabash valley.
They lift... run... swim... and compete in multiple challenges.
I talked to a few athletes -- some who won gold!
They tell me being a part of this makes them feel like they're on top of the world!
Alec spaulding and his team... represent a few of the many champions at this weekend's special olympics summer games.
The team won the 4 by 4 100 meter race.
Spaulding says being a part of the special olympics has allowed him to form incredible friendships.
Spaulding says, "it is fun.
We all have talent and we stick together and we just have fun with one another" for the last 50 years... athletes have been able to compete in the sports they love -- and smile!
Some run... others throw... but everyone is included.
Some may even take home some hardware -- just like michael peterson.
He's been participating in the olympics for 14 years.
He says these games show others people with disabilities can be super fast and strong, too!
"i want people to realize there's people out there like us.
I don't want people to pitty us and i want people to realize that we're human as well."
That energy and positive attitude touches each person at the games.
"those moments are just the most special to me as a volunteer " carla knapp says she enjoys spending time with the athletes every year.
She's a volunteer and she's also coached.
"whenever you see athletes that are achieving their goals and we get to celebrate that thoe kind of commections those kinds of moments are the whole reason that i volunteer" these athletes -- showing what it means to be good sports... and celebrating the joy of inclusion.
In terre haute, richard solomon, news 10.> with so many people out and about for the special olympics... safety is a olympics... special about for the special olympics... safety is a top priority.
Safety is a olympics... special about for the people out and with so many with so many people out and about for the special olympics... safety is a top priority.
In tonight's safety alert... organizers say they're taking extra measures to make sure all athletes and families enjoy the summer games.
This includes busing athletes back and forth across 3rd street to the track venue... and closing some roads to make them pedestrian only.
Organizers say they've taken these extra measures so everyone can focus on having fun this weekend.
"safety is our big priority, but we make the environment safe and fun for our athletes, our volunteers as well and just have such a great environment that they don't even have to worry about it."
This means portions of some streets downtown are closed to traffic this weekend.
First street from sycamore to eagle street... chestnut street from 5th to 3rd street... and 4th street from the tippecanoe street area to cherry street will be