1,500 athletes compete in 50th year of the Virginia Special Olympics

1,500 athletes compete in 50th year of the Virginia Special Olympics
The Special Olympics are happening in Richmond this weekend. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Happening in Richmond this weekend, 1,500 athletes will be participating in the 50th year of the Virginia Special Olympics.

Running in the Special Olympics seems like a pretty big deal, but for 27-year-old Josh Norris, it's just another race.

"Seeing all the competition and everything is great," said Josh Norris.

Josh Norris has an intellectual disability, but that doesn't stop him from being active and making a life for himself.

"I play basketball and I bowl," said Josh Norris.

"He live independently, he drives, he has a full-time job, so that keeps him busy," said B.J. Norris, Josh's mother.

Josh Norris  is running in the 3,000 meter race - that's just shy of two miles. A short distance for his standards.

"My half marathon is 1 hour and 24 minutes. my full is 3 hours and 41 minutes," said Josh Norris.

Even though this race is short, it's helped Josh Norris qualify for the USA games this summer in Seattle. He is one of 46 athletes to be chosen for the USA games, but right now, he's focused on one goal: defending his gold medal.

"I got some new competition this year so I guess we'll see," said Josh Norris.

NBC12 is excited to be a part of the Special Olympics at the University of Richmond. Marc Davis hosted the opening ceremony.

Saturday, you can meet up with Kelly Avellino and Alex Whittler as they take the "Solar Plunge" at 1 p.m.

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