There’s more than gold when BGSU hosts Special Olympics Ohio Indoor Winter Games

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There were plenty of gold, silver and bronze medals hanging around the necks of the Special Olympics athletes during the Ohio Indoor Winter Games this weekend at Bowling Green State University.

Basketball players, cheer teams and swimmers arrived in Bowling Green prepared for competition, camaraderie and lots and lots of cheering and clapping. The competition is real, yet the spirit of community that surrounds the games and the athletes is unmistakable.

It was standing room only in the turf side of Perry Field House where pom-pommed cheerleaders jumped, twirled, and clapped to the upbeat music to fire up the crowd.

Maria Gillman was bopping along as she proudly watched the teams compete. When it came time for her daughter Olivia to compete on the Westerville Wolves cheer team, coached by April Merryman, her mother stepped a little closer to take some photos.

“Olivia has been involved in Special Olympics for about three years participating in gymnastics, track and cheer, but cheer is her favorite,” her mother said. “The best part is that this is such a supportive community; wherever we go, and we travel a lot, everyone is there cheering on the athletes and doing what they can to make it a positive experience.”

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