San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Athletes compete for spot on Costa Rica's Special Olympics squad

Some 1,000 Costa Rican athletes are set to prove their disability is no obstacle as they compete for a spot in the first-ever Central American and Caribbean Special Olympic Games Costa Rica 2008.


Narrowing down the roster after 16 competitions around the country, judges today will observe the athletes at National University´s Sports Center, the Palacio de los Deportes and the downtown streets of Heredia, north of the capital, to pick the top 220 who will form a national team.


Starting at 9 a.m., the national finals will include weightlifting, running, five-a-side soccer, cycling, swimming, gymnastics and a triathlon.


Team Costa Rica will go on to face competitors from throughout Central America and the Caribbean, as well as guest countries Mexico and China, in games at several San José facilities from Nov. 24 to 30, according to Special Olympics Costa Rica´s communications and marketing director Mónica López.


The November games are the first in the region, adding to the broader Latin America tournament, last held in El Salvador in 2006, López said.


The Special Olympics are dedicated to the country´s president, Oscar Arias, who “has shown enormous support for the games and had great chemistry with the athletes,” López said.


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