OSAGE, Iowa - Osage Middle and High School students started the school day Thursday by cheering on their Special Olympians.
Participants are heading off to Ames for the weekend to compete in Iowa's statewide Special Olympics at the Lied Recreation Center on the Iowa State University campus. Events this year include swimming relays, track and field, cycling, soccer and tennis.
Junior Cody Lindy is participating in the javeline competitions, and enjoys watching his fellow teammates compete.
"I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. To see my teammates having fun is the important thing. I see my friends and stuff, and if they get pressured on, I can help them."
Eighth-grader Braelyn Bierbrodt is participating in the running and softball competitions, and had a little encouragement to join the Special Olympics.
"Mostly my family wanted me to go out for it because they wanted me to go out for sports."
More than 2,600 athletes compete in the largest event of the year for Special Olympics Iowa.