Baltimore Spring Games highlight Special Olympians

BALTIMORE - They're known as the Baltimore City Spring Games.

It's the annual celebration of Special Olympics Maryland that brings together competitors with developmental disabilities from schools all across the city for a three-day athletic event

But this event held this week at Poly-Western High School is about more than who won the 50 meter dash.

"This is an amazing activity not only for our special ed student athletes but for the hundreds of volunteers who work with them and also for our students who are getting service hours as partners,” said Jim Padden with Baltimore City Public Schools. “They're having the experience of working with students with special needs and to step outside their comfort zone."

The three day event is really the culmination of a lot of hard work.

"This is actually the end of months of hard work and they're here today truly giving their best, shattering stereotypes that some may hold about individuals with intellectual disabilities,” said Sam Hodapp, Baltimore director of Special Olympics Maryland.

“Sometimes the preconceived notion about our athletes, what they're capable of Is very often thrown out the window.  These athletes are putting everything into their events.  There is no less competitive spirit, there is no less enthusiasm or focus. Than any other sporting event you may go to."

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