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Arizona’s special athletes to compete abroad

PHOENIX — Arizona’s Special Olympics volleyball team will represent the United States on the world stage.

In August, the team will travel to Europe to compete against several other international Special Olympics volleyball teams.

“We’re going to Poland to represent Special Olympics, along with the USA, and we’re going to be playing Poland, Germany and Serbia,” Assistant Coach Oscar Olinger said.

Olinger is a former Special Olympics athlete and once competed on the team he now coaches. He said this is one of the most prestigious volleyball tournaments a special athlete could be invited to compete in.

“I think it’s cool,” he said. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing and it’s going to be fun…I’m happy.”

The competition is going to be hard to beat, according to Olinger.

“It’s going to be tough, but we’ll have a good shot,” he said.

Olinger said being invited to coach in this tournament is one of the greatest honors of his life.

“I’m just happy to go and represent my country and USA and Arizona and have fun,” he said.