"I think it's terrific, I mean, [the athletes] love seeing themselves in the paper," Mikulis said. "They just really get excited about that. They feel like their hard work is being recognized. And they do practice a lot; they work hard. They're trying to acquire skills that may be difficult for them."

As they walked around the museum at Herb Brooks Arena, the athletes saw awards, medals and mementos lining the shelves. Mikulis reminded them, however, that those are just the physical rewards of winning.

When Jill Durbin, Jake Reynolds and the other Special Olympians compete in PyeongChang, they will seek victory but will be defined by much more.

"It's a great big family — you got to love those athletes, they're something else," said Jill Durbin's father, John, a Team USA basketball coach. "They're the ones who got it right; we're the ones who got it wrong.

"When they compete, they try to win, but they don't win, [and] they're not jealous of the winner; they're happy for them. It's not like us, you know, 'I should have won.' "



Special Olympics World Winter Games

Jan. 29-Feb. 5

PyeongChang, South Korea

What: Biennial event for winter athletes with intellectual disabilities