Grand Rapids athletes headed to special Olympics - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Grand Rapids athletes headed to special Olympics

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23-year-old Jason Rupert has one goal for the upcoming week: "Bring home the gold!"

The task won't be easy but then again, life hasn't exactly been easy for both him and his older sister Katie.

"They both suffer from mild forms of learning disabilities," explains mom Patty. "Cognitive reasoning is a little off. Sometimes their thought process isn't as sharp as the average person."

But that didn't stop the Grand Rapids family from getting the children to go after their goals. At a young age, both Rupert kids got involved with sports and their lives quickly transformed.

"I mean maybe we were wrong but we always pushed them to their full capability," said Patty.

The support and the hard work paid off. On Friday, the Rupert's leave for New Jersey, bound for the national special Olympics games.

"It's tough work but your hard work really pays off when you are down there," explains Katie.

She would know. This is the 24 year old's second national games while it's her brother's first.

"They're both really pumped up," said Patty. "They're both really excited. I think it's cool they are experiencing it together."

Win or lose, they're already accomplished so much.

"I've made friends. It's got me in good shape," said Katie. "I'm not a couch potato."

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