TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Athletes from across the state will gather on Friday evening and Saturday in Twin Falls for Idaho's Special Olympic Games, with the Torch Run scheduled for Friday morning. 

Around 600 athletes are scheduled to attend.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Canyon Ridge High School. Games will go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Games include basketball, cycling, flag football, powerlifting, and track and field. Aquatic games will be held at the City Pool.

A closing ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by a Victory Dance from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the school.

This is the city’s second time hosting the Summer Games, but you can expect to see the games return again next year.

The Idaho chapter of the Special Olympics, headquartered in Garden City, wanted to make a three-year commitment, Laurie La Follette, executive director of Special Olympics Idaho, previously to News Radio 1310.

The chapter started providing training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in 1971, with the first games being held the next year in Pocatello. Games have since been hosted in many regions of the state, but besides some regional winter competitions they have not been held in south-central Idaho until 2016.

Several community partners stepped up to make it happen, including Chobani, which is the presenting sponsor.

The Torch Run
What’s a Special Olympics event without a torch run?

This year’s Torch Run begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Idaho Joe’s Restaurant on Blue Lakes Boulevard. Anyone can join in the run, but you must be there by 9:45 a.m.

Law enforcement officers are the official bearers of the Flame of Hope and will carry the torch during the run, according to the organization, but the community’s support encourages the athletes.

The event, a pledge campaign, was started in 1981 in Wichita, Kan., and helps raise funds for the games.

You can register and donate at this fundraising webpage. For additional information, contact Shannon Reece or 208-590-1097.

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