More than 500 students went head to head in a variety of sports at Westwood High School

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More than 500 students went head to head in a variety of sports at Westwood High School Monday as the Special Olympics got underway.

Chayce Hill made sure the torch was lit to get things underway.

"I'm fast," Chayce said.

His coach , Gina Graziosa, said this day has been a long time coming.

"We've been out here almost every day for the past month or so running on the track. Our relay team has been practicing passing the baton, but we've been working really hard," Graziosa said.

High schools from Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington and Richland Counties brought their students out to compete. But there were some younger students too.

"It's specifically for kids ages 3 to 7. And it teaches more developmental skills so it really can eventually help prepare them to go onto becoming a Special Olympics athlete if they so choose at 8-years-old," SC Special Olympics Communications Director Leigh Cheatham said.

Many athletes have been training for months. Graziosa says their work ethic is incredible.

"They don't want to settle for just being able to do it. They want to do it and do it well and be the best at it," Graziosa said.

Athletes who qualify will play in the Summer games at Ft. Jackson from May 9 - 11.

The organization is still looking for volunteers for that event. To volunteer go to www.so-sc.org

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