COLORADO SPRINGS — We are less than two weeks away from the Tokyo Olympics and to celebrate a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Day was held at Deerfield Park on Saturday.
Food, sports, and fun all make a celebration successful. But what makes an Olympic Day Celebration successful? Some say it’s the community’s support including visits from Team USA athletes.
“This is a big accomplishment for them. I’m very proud of them and I’m very proud of everyone who is representing, not only Colorado but the world, and everybody today,” said Donnie Woods, a Colorado Springs resident.
Pickleball and wheelchair basketball were just some of the sports those celebrating participated in.
“We are just really excited to be here today to participate in the events with the Olympians and Paralympians. Our hope is to one day have pickleball in the Olympics so we’re prideful to be here,” said Joe Johnson, President of the Pikes Peak Pickleball Association.
“Not a lot of people know about wheelchair basketball so to be able to share with them and give them a little bit of an insight, get them in a wheelchair to be able to play against us is always really fun,” said John Boie, USA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball 2016, 2020 Paralympian and Tokyo Olympic hopeful.
“I love doing events like this, being able to come out to the community, and show kids that even after a tragic incident of losing a leg or being disabled or anything like that, that you’re able to still compete, do things that “normal” or regular everyday people do,” said Brian Bell, USA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball 2020 Paralympian and Tokyo Olympic hopeful.
One thing is certain. Those living here in Olympic City USA are looking forward to the summer games in Tokyo.
“And it’s a way to show our country and different countries what we’re made of and how we make things happen in a good way,” said Woods.
Both USA Men’s Wheelchair basketball athletes, John and Brian will be making the trip to Tokyo soon in the hopes of bringing back a gold medal.