Two of Alaska's athletes are heading to the Middle East to compete in track and field events in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

On Tuesday, friends and supporters held a send-off party for Ayesha Abdul-Jillil and Demiko Colbert at Special Olympics Alaska's Jim Balamaci Training Center in Anchorage.

The center was formally renamed after late CEO Jim Balamaci after he passed away suddenly in early 2016.

Demiko is from Fairbanks and Abdul-Jillil is from Anchorage. They'll be competing in Abu Dhabi with 7,500 athletes from nearly 200 countries.

"I'm looking forward to going down there and competing in the 100-meter and the 4x100 relay and the shot put," Abdul-Jillil said. "And bringing home gold."

There's more than just athletes representing Alaska. On Monday, Anchorage police officer Angie Fraize ran in the final leg of the Flame of Hope for the World Games.

 

The Special Olympics World Summer Games run from March 14-21. 

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