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Olympic and Paralympic day in COS: Athletes inspire kids at Deerfield Park

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 3:29 PM MDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2021 at 9:32 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Athletes are gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics and are getting more excited, especially after they were unsure at one point if the Games would even happen.

Just this week, the International Olympic Committee announced that fans will not be allowed to attend the games after Japan declared a state of emergency due massive spike in new COVID-19 cases.

Despite not being overseas in person, some people were still able to get into the Olympic spirit here in Colorado Springs.

Paralympic and Olympic athletes gathered to show kids new sports and show them what it takes to represent the USA on Saturday at Deerfield Park in southeast Colorado Springs. Many took advantage of the opportunity to learn from the best.

“Any chance that I have to inspire the next wave of people coming up to compete with me at next trials is always fun to do,” John Boie, a member of the Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic team said.

Athletes also signed autographs, and posed for some pictures. The official Olympic torch also made an appearance.

Mayor John Suthers joined in the fun and played a little soccer with some kids.

“They are just really good role models,” he said, referring to the athletes. “Being around them is good for the kids so they know what it takes and that kind of dedication to become and Olympian.”

The athletes say it’s a good way to show what is possible, even if you hit some bumps in the road,

“I think it’s a great time to kind of show kids growing up that you can achieve pretty much anything” Brian Bell, a member of the Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic team, added. “Even if something as losing a leg or something dramatic like that happens to you. Your life isn’t over you could still achieve great things and go on the world stage and compete against the world for your country.”

Former Olympic weightlifter Jenny Arthur agreed.

“If you have a goal, stick to that goal and really try to stay committed. Stay determined and then never give up on that goal.”

On July 31, there will be a celebration for Colorado Springs’ 150th birthday in downtown Colorado Springs where people can watch a parade, and then go to the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum to watch the Games as well.

“You know this is, this is a big part of what we are in Colorado Springs, and I hope our citizens really appreciate what a great opportunity it is to have these folks in our community and such a big part of our economy,” Mayor Suthers said.

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