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Special Olympics Missouri 2022 Summer Games return to Columbia

Watch the athletes walk out and Gov. Parson speak during the opening ceremonies in the player below.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Special Olympics Missouri is set to host its annual summer games in Columbia this weekend.

The three-day event at the University of Missouri and Rock Bridge High School is the group's first full event since 2018.

The summer games start Friday and run through Sunday as more than 1,000 athletes and volunteers are set to visit from across the Show-Me State.

The games were canceled in 2019 due to the Jefferson City tornado. In 2020, the Special Olympics Missouri canceled the games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization did host the summer games in 2021, however, the event lasted one day.

"We're so excited for a return to normalcy, and I know our athletes, coaches, unified partners and volunteers are excited as well," said Senior Programs Director Melinda Wrye-Washington.

Mizzou will host the summer games for the first time since 2014.

Opening ceremonies for the games are scheduled to start Friday at 7 p.m. Gov. Mike Parson and University of Missouri President Mun Choi are both expected to speak at the ceremonies.

The games will feature four sports in total, including volleyball, track & field, aquatics, and powerlifting. Volleyball is set to kick off Friday at noon, while all other games begin throughout the day Saturday.

Volunteers are still needed to help throughout the busy weekend. Special Olympics Missouri has shared a link on its website for those interested in helping out.

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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.

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