High School Sports

Special Olympics come to Keesler for 30th year

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD 
 Brig. Gen. Patrick C. Higby, former commander of the 81st Training Wing, left, and athlete Perry May, celebrate the lighting of the cauldron for the 2015 Special Olympics State Summer Games on May 8, 2015. This year's event will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the lighting of the cauldron at Keesler Air Force Base.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Brig. Gen. Patrick C. Higby, former commander of the 81st Training Wing, left, and athlete Perry May, celebrate the lighting of the cauldron for the 2015 Special Olympics State Summer Games on May 8, 2015. This year's event will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the lighting of the cauldron at Keesler Air Force Base. SUN HERALD

This year's Special Olympics Mississippi will celebrate 30 years at Keesler Air Force Base starting Friday when the torch arrives, fresh off its statewide march.

Keesler will host the opening ceremonies and parade at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with events running throughout the day Saturday.

Events will include aquatics, golf, canoeing and sailing, bowling, tennis, volleyball, powerlifting and track and field events.

Prior to the ceremony, law enforcement officers spent five days running the torch through Mississippi.

Starting in Hernando on Monday, the run will include Harrison County and Jackson County on Friday before arriving at Keesler for the final leg around 11:30 a.m.

"Law enforcement officers are the 'Guardians of the Flame of Hope' for Special Olympics athletes in more than 100 countries around the world," Tony Bahou, president and CEO of Special Olympics Mississippi, said in a release. "Their efforts help us provide life-changing experiences and competitions for more than 4,000 athletes in Mississippi year-round."

Special Olympics Mississippi serves more than 4,000 athletes through a network of 17 multi-county areas and thousands of volunteers. Athletes compete locally at more than 50 events across the state, then statewide at the annual Summer Games and Fall Games. Athletes can then advance to the national and international levels of competition.

For a complete list of events, visit specialolympicsms.org/games-events.

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