Illinois Special Olympics athletes back home after competing in Austria

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois athletes who competed in the Special Olympics are back home.

Six athletes and five delegates from Illinois represented the United States at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games and many brought home a lot of hardware.

Several Special Olympic athletes from Illinois are showing off their medals with pride after coming back from Austria.

"I had a very incredible, amazing, confusing, adventure and now it's time to go home!" said athlete James Wireman.

James Wireman said he had a lot of fun competing and winning two bronze medals and a 4th place ribbon.

A beaming Tommy Shimoda hugged his parents and then, using a hand-held mini computer, talked about winning two medals, a gold and a bronze.

The Illinois athletes were among 3,000 from 110 nations competing in nine Olympic-type sports.

It's no small feat bringing home a silver and bronze, which is what Jamiah Shepard did in the snowshoeing completion, and she loved it, saying her favorite part was, "Meeting other people from the country."

With two medals around his neck, Steve McVoy echoes that.
"It was fun meeting people from different countries," he said.

The Special Olympic athletes worked hard, competed harder, and enjoyed every moment of being away from home for two weeks.

"Being a part of this it was amazing," said athlete Lisa Menichino.

Danielle Lanxon landed at O'Hare Airport Saturday night. The 19-year-old from downstate Belleville was happy to see her brother and other family members.

She brought home a silver medal and bronze in snowshoeing.

"There's no fighting, there's no arguments, everyone is really, they come together with so much camaraderie and friendship, it's really cool to see," said Derek Lanxon, Danielle's brother.

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Several Special Olympics athletes from Illinois are on their way home after competing in Austria.

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