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2017 Special Olympics State Outdoor Games kick off

The 2017 Special Olympics State Outdoor Games kicked off Friday morning and is expected to bring in 1,100 people. (MGN Online)

The 2017 Special Olympics State Outdoor Games hosted by Helias Catholic kicked off Friday morning in Jefferson City.

The games were expected to bring in 1,100 people including athletes, coaches, and unified partners. Sports for the outdoor games included bocce, golf, tennis, softball, and flag football.

"Special Olympics is an organization that lifts up so many people through the opportunities they provide," Helias Catholic President, Father Stephen Jones said. "We are honored and pleased to host these events and particularly these athletes, their coaches, families and friends. We support the organization 100 percent."

The opening ceremony was slated for 7 p.m. at Helias High School.

  • Bocce began Friday at 8 a.m. at Blair Oaks High School
  • Golf kicked off Friday at 8 a.m. at Oak Hills Golf Course
  • Tennis started Friday at 8 a.m. at Helias High School
  • Softball began Saturday at 8 a.m. at Legion Sports Complex
  • Flag Football competition began Sunday at 8 a.m. at Helias High School

Special Olympics said the games represent more than just competition.

"It's also just a chance for them to see their friends from other parts of the state that they might not get to see all the time. It's really a big family atmosphere that we have here. It's really fun to see everyone reunite and it's kind of like a big family reunion where we get to hang around and socialize and also compete against one another," Harrison McLean with Missouri Special Olympics said.

Athletes will compete through Sunday.

For more information on the State Outdoor Games, visit Special Olympics Missouri's website.

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