Special Olympics athletes $18,000 short for World Games - WNEM TV 5

Special Olympics athletes $18,000 short for World Games

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Michael Robinson and Dalvin Keler are teammates for the Special Olympics volleyball team in Genesee County.

“It pushes you to the limit every time,” Robinson said.

Keler said, “We have some difficult tasks but we came and worked for it and we're dedicated.”

For months, they’ve been working and practicing for one goal: California. The World Games have over one hundred other countries competing.

Robinson and Keler’s coach, Shiela Gafney said their accomplishments have already been incredible.

“We have never been able to do that before so that is above and beyond,” Gafney said. “And these boys have basically never left the state of Michigan let alone travel to California, on an airplane, compete against 177 other countries, 7,000 athletes, they're very excited.”

Twice a week, the team gets together to practice. They put in long, hard hours in the gum, preparing to face the world.

“And picking ourselves up when we fall, because that hurts the most,” Robinson said.

This team has worked hard the past few months to get to the World Games. But with only 19 days left, they are still $18,000 short of getting there.

“I was watching [Robinson] out there, and he has just blossomed,” said Candace Carlson, a trainer at Anytime Fitness. “All of them have. Both in the gym and outside. Greeting people, and they're so supportive of one another it's so exciting to see.”

“We all encourage each other to do this or do that when we think we can't reach it,” Robinson said.

Keler and Robinson know they haven't worked this hard not to go to the world games.

“Just going up there and competing against people of other countries,” Robinson said.

Keler said, “We want the gold!”

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