Nicole Levesque will try her hand at the javelin this year at the Nebraska Special Olympics, a new event for her.
She swelled with enthusiasm Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha as she spoke of her love for the Games.
Levesque was part of a parade of about 1,500 participants and volunteers who had gathered for the Special Olympics' opening ceremonies.
Levesque said she had been preparing and training for months.
“I love to compete,” she said.
The 36-year-old from South Sioux City, Neb., has an intellectual disability, as do all of the participants. She also plans to race in the 50-meter dash.
Levesque stood on the ballpark's concourse with a volunteer, Mary Ann Slobin, also of South Sioux City.
“It's a lot of hard work,” Slobin said of the Games.
The Special Olympics Nebraska is in its 40th year. Athletes with broad smiles walked in a procession along Mike Fahey Street, outside the ballpark. Many waved towels.
All were greeted with cheers.
After the opening ceremonies at the ballpark, the athletes and volunteers stayed to watch the Creighton-Wichita State baseball game.
Fireworks lit the downtown sky after the game ended.
The Games will continue through Saturday and will take place at Creighton University, Northwest High School and at other spots in the city.