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2022 Special Olympics USA Games begin in Orlando this weekend

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games begin in Orlando this weekend. Photo: Special Olympics USA Games
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games begin in Orlando this weekend. Photo: Special Olympics USA Games

The Special Olympics torch -- the Flame of Hope -- has arrived in Orlando. And now, it's time for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

In numerous torch runs, beginning in Chicago and ending at Orlando City Hall, law enforcement officers and Special Olympians have blazed a path to the games.

They begin Sunday with an opening ceremony downtown at Exploria Stadium and continue through June 12th.

There are 19 areas of competition, ranging from cheerleading to triathlon, at several locations across the city. Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is the main site.

Some 5,500 athletes from all 50 states and the Caribbean are expected to participate.

The Special Olympics was founded in 1968. Using sports, it seeks to build a more inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.