Thousands of athletes converge for Special Olympics of Texas

- More than 3,000 athletes from across Texas will gather at UT-Arlington for the Special Olympics of Texas.

In addition to the athletes, about 500 police officers and firefighters are involved in the torch run to kick off the four-day event and to make the event possible.

Duncanville Police Officer Doug Sisk has been part of the annual event for the past 30 years.

"We see everybody on their worst day,” he said. “This is their best day."

"If you've ever done it once, you'll never stop. It's like soul food. The joy of these people and just the look on their faces,” said volunteer Karan Love. “This is how I always spend my Memorial Day weekend every year."

This year is Paul Tolman's first year to volunteer at the Special Olympics.

"The athletes are amazing,” he said. “The energy here is out the roof. I love this! I will do this every year.”

The energy flows both ways.

Colby Banister is a world-class Special Olympian gymnast and weightlifter.

"It's amazing and inspiring,” he said.

"Colby has taught us to appreciate the small things in life,” said Rhonda, Colby’s mom. “He's taking us all over the world and giving us opportunities that we would've never had been able to experience."

Rhonda has a message for people thinking about volunteering this weekend.

“You will never be the same! You come out and give your time, but you actually are the one that receives the most out of it,” she said. “If you don't walk away a changed person, there's definitely something wrong."

For more information on how to volunteer, click here.

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