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Special Olympics athletes hit the rink against Ferris State's men's hockey team

The Special Olympics team took home the hard fought victory, winning 8-6.

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Tuesday was a big night for Special Olympics athletes in Big Rapids, where the Area Five squad got to cross sticks with the Ferris State University hockey team.

"I love to do, like, hockey, basketball and bowling," says Shane Grimwood, a Special Olympics athlete who played in the game.

For him, sometimes it feels like he's been playing hockey forever.

"I've played for hundreds of years," he says.

So, to get to hit the rink with some of the best college hockey players in the nation? A day he and his teammates won't soon forget.

"I just have played every day and I just loved it, and love the Ferris State Bulldogs," says Grimwood.

Ferris State hosted the annual poly hockey game, pitting the Bulldogs against Special Olympics athletes. Junior forward Mitch Deelstra has played in the game before.

"You can see how much they love it," says Deelstra. "So, it just makes you want to come out and hang out with them for a couple hours."

He says unlike in their usual games, the team is constantly trying to lift up their opponents.

"Nice goal or you're playing well, something like that," he says.

That positivity spread to Grimwood, who scored a goal in the game.

"I did great!" he says.

That score, one of eight for the Special Olympics team to take home a hard fought victory.

"We were trying, but we couldn't get a few in the net," says Deelstra.

Ferris State also hosts a unified basketball game in the spring, where Special Olympics athletes play side-by-side with the Bulldog men's and women's teams.


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