More than 500 athletes came to run, pitch and jump at Heroes Stadium on Saturday at the Area 20 Spring Games with Special Olympics Texas.

“I practiced hard and I’m happy to be here,” said Justin Bores, who competed in the 100-meter run.

Jalynn Sherrell proudly showed off the medal she won for javelin.

“I got first place and I love it and I thank you,” said Sherrell, who added that she loves to throw things.

Sarah Thompson said that her favorite event was the 50-meter run, as she smiled at the winning medallion she wore.

Emmanuel Sanchez of Special Olympics Texas said that the goal of the organization is to give every athlete an uplifting experience so they will come back year after year and be life-long competitors.

Sanchez also said that fans in the stands are in important part of the success of the program.

“If the athletes see that 'Hey look! All the people are cheering for me,' they want to come back. They want to train harder for next year, and they know that the experience that they had here today with everyone cheering them on, that will stay with them the rest of their lives,” Sanchez said.