Special Olympic Lifters Showcase Skills at CSS

By KBJR News 1

May 28, 2014 Updated May 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- These are not the guys you want to mess with. Their muscles? They don't just grow overnight.

"I spend an hour and a half at the gym myself, and with these guys, we have two hours with them," said Sean Klund, a Special Olympics powerlifter.

It's not just to look good, though. Klund has been involved in Special Olympics powerlifting for 15 years now.

"I like that I think I can always do more," he said. "Once you think you stopped then you shouldn't be doing it anymore. You can always do more. Just push yourself."

This spring, the Duluth All–Stars got to push themselves in front of a home crowd at the Twin Ports Raw Open.

For the fifth year in a row, the meet was held at St. Scholastica with over 70 participants, the most they've ever had. But for the Special Olympic athletes, they say it's not all about benching the most or squatting the most. Instead, it's just about having fun."

"Power lifting keeps me good, and I can feel my strength," said Sean Kunze, a Special Olympics lifter.

While their strength is obvious, their love for the sport is undeniable. Just ask meet director Joe Warpeha.

"You can just tell by the looks on their faces that they absolutely love it," he said.

It's a love that co–head coach Glen Simmons has grown accustom to seeing.

"They are out there competing and even working out, they love it," Simmons said.

But it's a job that he's never taken for granted.

"It's very special," he said. "I don't know if I can really put it into words, but it's great. When you work with these athletes, what you see is what you get."

Posted by Sarah Wheeler
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