GREAT FALLS - This is the second year the Special Olympics are being hosted in Great Falls under a three year agreement.
While hundreds of athletic competitions and events are taking place across the city, one area in particular holds a special place in the heart of every Olympic athlete - the Olympic Village.
“Oh they have a ball. They love the competition. They love Olympic Village,” says Beth McFadden, Co-Chair of the Admin Committee.
The Olympic Village is circus themed this year, and allows athletes to relax in between their competitions with plenty of fun activities and events.
“We're going to have a DJ and games, and arts and crafts. Just hopefully a circus atmosphere for them,” explains Suzie Taleff, Co-Chairman of the Games Management Team.
While this might not seem like too much work, the amount of man-hours it takes to put on the Special Olympics might surprise you.
“Oh gosh... I couldn't even guess. I would say tens of thousands. I mean people are working all year to put this together,” says McFadden.
Currently, Special Olympics serves 2500 athletes from across the state, however, many are predicting the program will continue to grow for years to come.
“It will keep growing. After being on the board for 10 years and seeing how it’s grown, I think that's what will keep happening,” explains McFadden.
Despite having almost 2,000 volunteers from the Great Falls Community, they still need more.
If you’re interested in volunteering, visit https://www.somt.org/ for more information.