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Special Olympics of New Mexico celebrates Las Cruces athletes with parade

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Special Olympics athletes in southern New Mexico had their chance to shine on Saturday, even in the middle of a pandemic.

"We are trying to make sure we have all these different events engaging them in some sort of activity, so they know we aren't forgetting them," explained Ronda Norfleet, the area three director for New Mexico.

A total of 266 athletes competed this year around the state of New Mexico, according to the organization. The group honored 40 athletes in Las Cruces and 10 in Gadsden.

"The athletes - of course - want to compete all the time," Norfleet said. "So, it's a little harder for them. We do tell them: 'Unfortunately, this year is just not what we expect out of special olympics, but it's not because we don't want to.'"

Athletes competed virtually, picking three events from a list and turning in their times or marks.

"They are looking forward to 2021, so hopefully everything will go away and we can compete like normal," Norfleet said.

New Mexico Sports / News / Sports

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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