Special Olympic athletes gather at O’Hare for 9th annual Plane Pull

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CHICAGO -- On the western edge of O`Hare International Airport, hundreds were present with a  heavy load to pull for a great cause.

The 9th annual Plane Pull took place Saturday.

85 teams from all over competing for the title to see who can pull one of two jets, a total of 12 feet, the fastest. The two jets were an airbus A300 and a Boeing 737-900. The money raised, about $150,000 Saturday, going to special Olympics Illinois.

"It's truly going to give more athletes the opportunity to compete each and every day and to have better quality experiences out there," said Jenny Fortner, Special Olympics Illinois chair.

Fortner is leading the charge for the organization, which started 49 years ago in Chicago and now has more than 5- million athletes around the world.

"It's all about what our athletes can do and not what they can't and just to see those athletes out there, being able to show this world the gifts and talents they have is truly life changing," said Fortner.

UPS and United, along with the Law Enforcement Torch Run are the big sponsors supporting the efforts of Special Olympics Illinois and its tens of thousands of athletes, like Erin Compton.

"Special Olympics teaches me that I can do anything ...even pulling an airplane for the Plane Pull," said Compton, a Special Olympics gymnast.

The event pulls the community together in a very special way.

"If you just give people a chance to show people their talents, whether it`s out here pulling a plane or whether it's in the classroom, or out in the community, I think there`s so much that`s possible that is inside of us...so that's what this is really all about today," said Fortner.


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