They're off at the Canlan Ice Sports Center in Romeoville and for the first time we don't just have the Special Olympics Summer Games, now we also have the speed skating and the figure skating of the winter games, for Wednesday and Thursday over sixty athletes are competing.
"Every one that's participating here has to be eight years of age and older and have intellectual disabilities,' said David Breen, President/CEO Special Olympics Illinois.
The Special Olympics, which began in Chicago in 1968, have come a long way. From just a few athletes to events held around the world. And now as you can see this is just one more expansion of this heartwarming competition.
"They mean a lot to me," said figure skater Amy Scheuchenzuber. "I have been having so much fun doing all this, all this. All this for a good event."
They are judged just like the superstars over in Russia. And the highest finishers Wednesday get to skate in the finals Thursday.
"Oh, this is great," said Special Olympics judge Rose Mary Santee. "This is great. This is a wonderful thing for the kids."
This isn't called the Special Olympics for nothing. All of these athletes are special and Friday they go for the gold.
Lots of gold, and silver, and bronze, and lots of special memories.