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Athletes gather in Belgrade for 2019 Big Sky Area Special Olympic Games

Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 25, 2019

BELGRADE — Athletes from across the Gallatin Valley gathered at Belgrade High School for the 2019 Big Sky Area Special Olympic games on Thursday.

“This is my race, I was (determined not) to lose this race,” Nate Zygarewicz said about his 400-meter relay finish. “I lost it two years, we lost it two years ago and we rounded and won it last year in state and it’s a big race. I look forward to running this relay.”

And everyone has a favorite part of the Special Olympics, including Zachery Hecox.

“The running and the laughing and the javelin,” he said.

The coaches find it worthwhile, as well.

“It is such a great program, the athletes really love it and you get so much reward out of it,” Gallatin Valley Bears coach Erika Evert said. “It’s a lot of fun to come here and coach them and encourage them to do their best that they can. And they really enjoy the social aspect as well. So it’s just so much fun to get out here and volunteer and help everybody out here.”

“My favorite part of Special Olympics is meeting nice people here,” Alan Hopper said. “And we won first in bocce ball today.”

“I want to thank all my teammates for doing all their part and all just having fun out here and enjoying the sun and enjoying these games,” Zygarewicz finished.