NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Special Olympics Tennessee will hold its state summer games in Nashville this weekend after a three-year hiatus.

Due to the pandemic, athletes are just now returning to Nashville for the first time since 2019 to participate in the summer games. Sean Stake, Vice President of Sport for Special Olympics Tennessee, says participants are thrilled to compete this year. 

“We’re so excited to be back for the first time in three years,” said Sean Stake, VP of Sports for Special Olympics Tennessee. “Our athletes, coaches, volunteers, and sponsors are thrilled to finally be back. The athletes have waited a long time and have worked hard to show off their skills to compete against their peers at this year’s games.” 

More than 600 athletes of various delegations will participate in events held at Lipscomb Academy and Centennial Sportsplex that include powerlifting, swimming, tennis and much more. 

Opening ceremonies for the event began on Friday, May 21. News 2’s very own Hayley Weiglus, who is also the event’s Chair of the Board of Directors, addressed the athletes, coaches, and volunteers at Friday’s ceremony, and with the help of Middle Tennessee law enforcement the cauldron was lit! 

Competitions for the games begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the campus of Lipscomb University. The public is invited to attend and cheer on the athletes.