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42nd Annual Special Olympics Games Kickoff Friday

The 42nd annual Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games will take place this weekend at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium.

The opening ceremonies will begin Friday evening with the Parade of Athletes followed by the lighting of the cauldron by the 2011 Most Inspirational Athlete, Chevi Peters of the Pittsburg New Hope Bulldogs.

A Law Enforcement Torch Run includes 900 officers from more than 85 agencies carrying the “Flame of Hope” throughout 28 counties in Kansas as they travel to the annual games held in Wichita.

This weekend’s games will include competitions in gymnastics, tennis, power lifting, cycling and team relays.

The Special Olympics is the largest program in the world for individuals with intellectual disabilities with programs in more than 165 countries and all 50 states.

The opening ceremonies of Wichita’s event will conclude with a fireworks display Friday evening before the games begin.