FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Special Olympics of Alaska here in Fairbanks had their summer bocce ball tournament at Pioneer Park as the summer heat poured in on the competitors.
The bocce ball tourney is part of their Unified Sports program, as athletes with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete together.
These partners come from communities, schools, colleges, sports organizations, associations and families.
It gives these athletes an opportunity to enjoy the thrill and excitement of sports itself.
For Mary Bunten, this has been a blast for her over the years, coaching and running events for the Special Olympics here in the Golden Heart City.
But to her, her favorite memory goes back to 8 years ago.
Coach Bunten: "As you can see, no this side. National Games 2010, I was selected as the head coach from Alaska to take a team, a male team from Fairbanks and then a female team from Ketchikan and participate in the games down there, and we came home with gold and silvers so. It was ecstatic to be amongst everyone wearing their medals and the best thing about them is that they always wear their medals so you're walking through the airport and all you hear is this clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk and then to get recognize on the aircraft that they said hey we've got these people from such an area is coming back from the national games."