Special Olympics Summer Games Kick Off the Weekend
COLUMBIA - 2,500 athletes and coaches came from across the state to participate in the Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games.
The three-day event started Friday with volleyball and basketball tournaments.
Members from Team Missouri will participate later this weekend before continuing their training for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey next month.
The tournaments were held in the Mizzou Rec Center where athletes, coaches and supporters cheered on the players.
Danny Lambert, fondly known by his teammates as "Disco Danny," said his favorite part about the day was shooting the ball during the basketball games.
More than 1.000 volunteers will help with the weekend-long event.
Brandon Schatsiek, the public relations coordinator for Special Olympics Missouri, talked about the new Special Olympics Missouri TV show he is starting to showcase the athletes' stories.
"Rather than public relations telling the story, it would be a lot better to tell their stories straight from their own mouths," Schatsiek said.
Schatsiek got the inspiration from a similar program in Rhode Island. He's hoping to equip some of the Team Missouri athletes with Go Pro cameras to produce video blogs about the game.
"Hopefully they don't wear out the batteries talking too much. If so, that's great too," Schatsiek said.
The opening ceremony will occur later Friday with a parade of the participants and athletes. Gov. Nixon will speak at the event.