Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Athletes from all over the state came into town to compete in the Speical Olympics.
"They're a vital part of our community and I think they really remind us what's important in life," President of Special Olympics SC Barry Coats said.
It was all fun and games at the 45th annual Special Olympics, but there was also some friendly competition.
"They love to compete. I will tell you our folks want to win a gold medal like anybody else, it's no different," Coats said.
And that includes 26-year-old Molly Poole.
"I love swimming," Molly said.
Molly's been competing for 12 years and her mother, Sandy Poole, says it's helped her a lot.
"She used to be really, really shy but she's gotten to be so that it doesn't bother her too much to get up in front of people," Sandy said.
Aside from athletes taking the main stage, over 800 volunteers are working behind the scenes. Including those in uniform.
"This is the largest event we have during the year, state event, and it's the cheapest that we put on because of the manpower that they're able to provide," Coats said.
The state's Special Olympics attracts hundreds. But even with all the attention, Molly has a simple motto.
"Keep on swimming," Molly said.