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Special Olympics to kick off in Billings for the first time in a decade

Special Olympics
Posted at 7:00 PM, Feb 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-07 11:15:16-05

BILLINGS — Special Olympics Montana held a press conference and kick-off event at Billings Senior High on Tuesday to celebrate the upcoming games that will be held in Billings for the next three years.

The games will take place from May 15 through 17, and this will be the first time since 2014 that they have taken place in Billings.

"The Special Olympics is not just an event. It's a celebration of inclusion, sportsmanship, and the incredible abilities of our athletes," announced Holly Netz, development director of Special Olympics, to the crowd.

In attendance were several students and staff of Senior, including the Unified PE class that encourages students with disabilities to stay active while being paired with another student who can assist them. Quinn McKee is a sophomore in the class and has participated in Special Olympics before. Kendal Tucker is his partner in unified PE and has been helping him train to play basketball for the event.

“We compete in sports together. I help Quinn, and he helps me,” said Tucker.

Kendal and Quinn
Quinn McKee is an athlete who will be participating in the Special Olympics with his Unified Partner, Kendal Tucker. He will be playing basketball.

She has been a Special Olympic Unified Partner once before and enjoyed assisting and watching the athletes compete.

“It is so much fun. With basketball, it was so much fun. You can just see the enjoyment from it and how excited they are, and it honestly gets really competitive," said Tucker.

McKee says he enjoys seeing his friends and teachers there each year and just looks forward to the games.

"I get to see all of my favorite teachers," said McKee. "We’re just here to have fun and compete at Special Olympics."

Senior's United PE classes celebrate Special Olympics in Billings
Senior's United PE classes celebrate Special Olympics in Billings

The opening ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. at MetraPark on May 15. The public is welcome to attend.