PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — For the first time since 2019, the Special Olympics Rhode Island Summer Games have returned to a full three-day experience for athletes and their families.
The weekend kicked off Friday afternoon with the Torch Run. Local law enforcement led the way to the R.I. State House, followed by hundreds of athletes.
Since 2020, the games have been scaled back, but this year will be fully in person, with athletes competing in events like track and field, bowling, unified soccer, soccer skills, swimming and powerlifting.
Athletes, coaches and organizers said they’re excited because they’ve been waiting three years for this.
WATCH: Special Olympics torch run arrives at the State House (Story continues below.)
“We are so looking forward to being back to a full Special Olympics weekend,” coach Rick Labreche said. “It is so exciting not just as a coach, but seeing each athlete compete is priceless. If you haven’t been here, it’s a bucket list thing.”
In addition to competitive events, Saturday will include the Olympic Village, Healthy Athletes Wellness Village and Athlete Showcase.
Opening ceremonies were held Friday at URI’s Meade Stadium and emceed by 12 News anchor Mike Montecalvo.
WPRI 12 is a proud sponsor of Special Olympics Rhode Island.