Special Olympics Colorado kicks off at Opening Ceremonies

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- More than 1000 competitors walked in the parade of athletes at Stocker Stadium on Friday in the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Special Olympics Colorado State Summer Games.

"Opening Ceremonies is our opportunity to celebrate our athletes to clap for them, to honor them, and to put on a great show for them to kick our off our competition weekend," said President of Special Olympics Colorado Mindy Watrous.

It's the 49th year of Special Olympics in Colorado and the sixth year the games are held in Grand Junction.

"It helps put Grand Junction on the map," said national qualifying swimmer Tori Smith. "Whereas other Special Olympic events are held in Denver like the Capital torch run or other state games. The Western Slope is excluded from that. We get that special opportunity to say, 'this is Grand Junction, this is the Western Slope, and we're not afraid to show what we got, and we're not afraid to compete.'"

The competition runs on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and again on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at various sports venues in Grand Junction.

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