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Special Olympics ‘Fifty Years of Hustle and Heart’ summer games start Friday at EKU

More than 1,400 Special Olympics athletes and more than 600 volunteers from throughout Kentucky will be celebrating “50 Years of Hustle and Heart” this weekend as the Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games return to Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond from Friday, June 1-Sunday, June 3.

There are a number of events on Friday, June 1, leading up to the start of the Games.

The Law Enforcement for Special Olympics Kentucky will hold its Torch Run Final Leg, beginning with a 9 a.m. program that starts in the Capitol Rotunda before moving onto the Capitol steps for the lighting of the Special Olympics Torch.

The Law Enforcement volunteers will move on to a special Ceremony at Stewart Home School in Frankfort at 10:30. That will be followed by a run through Georgetown beginning at 12:50 pm. There will also be a run from the Transylvania University campus to the Wildcat statue on the University of Kentucky campus that will begin at 3 p.m. They will conclude with a ceremony at the Richmond Police Department at 4:15 p.m. followed by a short run to the EKU campus. Nearly 200 federal, state, municipal and military law enforcement personnel are expected to take part in the Final Leg.

The Games officially begin with the Opening Ceremonies, which will start at 6:45 p.m. in the Ravine on the EKU campus (weather permitting; rain location is Alumni Coliseum). Highlights of the Opening Ceremonies include the parade of athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron.

Some competitions will be held on Friday evening with the running of the 100-meter wheelchair race and the 1,500 and 5,000-meter races, as well as all track relays and some divisions of the shot put taking place immediately following Opening Ceremonies. Swimming relays will also be held on Friday night.

The remaining competitive events will be held on Saturday, June 2, with awards ceremonies held throughout that day as well.

Nearly all the athletes who will compete as part of Team Kentucky later this summer at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Game in Seattle, Wash., will be in action this weekend in Richmond.

This is the 24th consecutive year that Eastern Kentucky University has hosted the Summer Games.

Friday, June 1
9 a.m. – Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg kickoff at State Capitol
      Speakers: Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton & Frankfort Police Chief Travis Ellis
10:30 a.m. – Final Leg ceremony at Stewart Home School in Frankfort
12:50 p.m. (approx.) – Final Leg run from 1501 Paris Pike to Georgetown City Hall

2:15 p.m. (approx.) – Arrive at Transylvania University on Old Morrison steps.
3 p.m. (approx.) — Final Leg run from Transylvania University (loop at main campus entrance) to the University of Kentucky Wildcat Statue
4:15 p.m. (approx.) – Final Leg Ceremony at Richmond PD followed by run to Alumni 
6:45 p.m. – Summer Games Opening Ceremonies, The Ravine (near the Keen Johnson
Building), Richmond
        (In the event of rain, Opening Ceremonies will be held at Alumni Coliseum)
8:20 p.m. – Select track and field and swimming events, Richmond

Saturday, June 2
9 a.m. – competitions begin at most venues
Award ceremonies held throughout the day
7:30 p.m. – Closing Ceremonies/Victory Dance, Alumni Coliseum Lot, Richmond
9:30 p.m. — Fireworks, Richmond

From Special Olympics Kentucky                                                

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