LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

Three area special Olympians get a hero's welcome home after competing at the national games in New Jersey.

Andy White, Sara Brandau, and Michele Drendel were greeted with their medals in hand by fans in La Crosse Thursday night at the Black River Beach Neighborhood Center.  All three took home hardware at the week long competition. Both White and Brandau competed in power lifting, while Drendel took part in gymnastics.

These tough competitors didn't spend all their time competing, they made sure to take time for a little sightseeing.

"I love it," said White, "First time to New Jersey, wouldn't be my last," he said.

"We did a baseball game Monday night and that was a lot of fun," said Brandau.

For Michele Drendel, it took 20 years to get to the big event, but when not doing gymnastics her competitive spirit doesn't let her take a break from competing.

"I'm doing bocce right now, that's Tuesdays and Thursdays and then they have the tournament July 12,  in Onalaska," said Drendel.

The group says their success would not have been possible without the help of their coaches.