Come 8 a.m. Saturday, Special Olympians from the Imperial Valley will prove no disability is great enough to keep them from competing at a high level as they participate in the Southern California Special Olympics at California State University, Long Beach.
About 23 Valley athletes ranging in age from 13 to 53 will compete in swimming, track and field and soccer events.
"This is an event that the Valley's Special Olympics hasn't competed in since about 1985. We've been competing in local events but nothing like this," said Special Olympics area director Pat Ureña. "People had been asking us if we were planning on competing in it and now finally we are."
Ureña took over the Valley's Special Olympics program in March 1999 when the city of El Centro recreation department was given control of the organization that had been run by an independent group, according to Ureña.