St. Cloud Cousins To Compete At Special Olympic 2014 USA Games [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- Two St. Cloud cousins will be among more than 50 athletes representing Minnesota at the 2014 National Special Olympic games in New Jersey this weekend.
Going to the Special Olympics isn't something that 25-year-old Max Grell and 22-year-old Ayla Reimann thought would happen to both of them at the same time. Max says he was excited to hear the news. He says, "my stomach started to hurt. That's how excited I got."
Max will be competing in the aquatics category and Ayla will be competing in track and field. Ayla is one of two people representing her state in that division. The two have been training together in anticipation for their big day.
"We always encourage each other to be the best we can be. We just love to be together," says Ayla.
There are 54 athletes from Minnesota competing in 16 events. Ayla says it was highly competitive, "after you apply there was like 100 and some-odd people that applied and they only pick eight per sport, so it was very hard to get picked."
Max's mom Sharon Grell and Ayla's mom Pam Reimann say it has been an emotional experience to share, not only as sisters, but also as Special Olympic coaches.
"Max got picked first in swimming in November and Ayla not until...I think quite a few months later for track. It was hard waiting to find out if she was going to get chosen or not," says Pam. She continues, "we actually found out online, and we both cried. Very exciting."
The two hope to bring home a gold medal but Ayla says she's excited to be competing, "It's just an honor to be going. Win or lose I'll be happy with whatever I do."
The Special Olympic games will be held at at eleven venues including Princeton University. The events will be broadcast on Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 and Fox News Channel. The Special Olympic games officially kick off Saturday, June 14th and wrap up on Saturday, June 21st.