What They’re Saying at Summer Games – Day 2

Find out what the athletes, coaches, volunteers, and more, were saying on Day 2 at Summer Games – in their own words:

“These athletes are empowered through competition and achieve their goals for acceptance and independence with their peers.”

-Victoria Dario, swimming awards volunteer coordinator

“I love going to different areas and love meeting new friends, and saying hello to new faces. I like Special Olympics because it keeps motivated and active.”

-Eleanor Gifford, 35, of the San Gabriel Valley Sting Rays swim team

South Bay golf coach Kaion Smith and athlete Raymond Gelsing

From left: Mother Kathy Gelsey, silver medalist Raymond Gelsey and South Bay golf coach Kaion Smith

“When we first started in February, he was only on one club for about a month. Out here now, we can pretty much pick any club in the bag. …Put that ball anywhere on the green, he’ll either sink it or get it within a foot. He’s just an amazing putter.”

-South Bay golf coach and Unified partner Kaion Smith on athlete Raymond Gelsey

“Great interactions with the athletes and they love learning about nutrition education. The athletes are excited about the free services that we provide here.”

– Alyssa Alvarado, senior at CSU Channel Islands Nursing School and a Healthy Athletes volunteer

“They operate from a place of strength.”

– First-year coach Megan Whitehurst on her team, the Inland Empire Tumbleweeds

“The most exciting game so far.”

-Coach Douglas Sarine of the Burbank Tigers, who won on a game-winning 3-pointer by Vincent Hairston

“Once you’re in, you’re in. It’s so fulfilling to be here! It’s not about me, it’s all about them. When the athletes see their loved ones watching, they play better.”

-Brian Gamblim, Antelope Valley coach

“He’s gotten a lot faster. He started off doing the 100- and 50-meter; now, he does up to the 400-meter (race). “

-San Diego County track and field coach Jessica Lanier on athlete Rob Repass of Chula Vista, who also won a gold medal in the shotput

“It’s just a hugely fulfilling opportunity to work with people from different walks of life.”

-LAPD officer James Setzer

“It’s not about you. …They work harder than anyone I’ve seen. They care. They’re team players, they’re unselfish. I think that’s the biggest part that I get and why I love to watch it and ref.”

-Volunteer referee Jordan Franey, an ex-UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball player, on what professional athletes could learn from Special Olympics athletes

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