ROCK SPRINGS — More than 150 Special Olympians from Area 2 competed in the Summer Games today for the chance to win a medal.
While many competitors traveled to compete, Rock Springs had a lot of competitors proudly representing their hometown. Prior to today’s competition, the participants were invited to a pizza and dance party at the Rock Springs Recreation Center Tuesday evening. It gave them a chance to meet each other and have a good time prior to the games on Wednesday.
Rock Springs competitor Mike Camphouse, 47, has been competing in the Special Olympics for nearly 40 years. Camphouse started competing when he was just 7 years old and has been ever since. For Camphouse, it’s all about comradery and the excitement of the games.
“I like to meet different teams, different people,” Camphouse said. “It helps me get motivated.”
While Camphouse has competed in various Special Olympic sports throughout the years including, track and field, skiing and bowling, his favorite is powerlifting. This year, he competed in squats, bench press, and deadlift in the powerlifting competition.
“I’m a big guy,” Camphouse said.
Before any competition, Camphouse likes to get psyched up.
But that’s not all that motivates Camphouse, he enjoys helping his teammates and seeing them succeed. He’s become a mentor to some of them and he’s always willing to give another competitor some advice on how to improve.
Another Rock Springs competitor Kodi Provence, 31, enjoys competing in basketball skills and track-related events. She’s been competing in the Special Olympics for a while and continues to enjoy it.
“I like getting the medals,” Provence said. She also enjoys the State games for more than one reason. When it comes to the State games, she enjoys seeing “all the cute officers” during the torch run.
Provence and all the other competitors were hoping for good weather Wednesday and they were not disappointed. Finally, Wyoming had a beautiful spring day just in time for the competition.
Rock Springs competitors Mason Blazovich, William O’Conner, and Nick Leosco, also known as the “Three Amigos” or “The Three Musketeers” were all excited to show off their skills. Blazovich, 23, competed in basketball and running events during the summer games. While Blazovich enjoys dribbling and shooting the ball, his favorite event is passing. He has been competing in the Special Olympics for the last 10 years.
Because of the pandemic, the athletes have not had the opportunity to compete with each other, Jill Blazovich, Mason’s mom said. This is the first time all of the athletes have been back together and they were excited to be here.
O’Conner competed in swimming and basketball, while Leosco also enjoyed competing in basketball. Regardless of which sport the athletes competed in the comradery was amazing and they all seemed to be having a good time.