FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Sports has the power to motivate athletes to new heights and inspire the fans that watch.
With every dribble, drive and jumper Special Olympic athletes from across California to compete in the Fresno basketball competition at Hoover High School.
"Special Olympics has been my whole life, I've been doing this for 16 years and I just love the sport," Taylor Wagner with Fresno United said.
"Nationwide, world games, anything," athlete Mark Heffner exclaimed. "I love basketball."
And it shows.
These athletes have trained hard for this moment.
"They've been practicing for 8 to 10 weeks," director of volunteer services Deborah Ivy said. "Working with their teams and coaches and they are super excited to be out here."
"Just go out there and give it everything," Wagner said. "You practice every day and you just play hard."
All the athletes live by this oath:
"Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt."
"The message is that we just want to give our maximum effort regardless of what that is and what level," senior regional sports director Oscar Hinojosa said. "We just want to make sure we are all in and all inclusive."
"Of course, like any athlete, they want to win but they want to do their best," Ivy said. "Our athletes are some of the most friendly and most persistent people you will ever meet. They face challenges in their daily lives yet they are out here in competing in a place that they are accepted for their own unique talents and abilities."
With moments that inspire and impact lives every day.