The weekend's festivities began with Opening Ceremony on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the track at Reno High School. Opening Ceremony was an evening of excitement for our athletes, and the coaches, families and volunteers who support Special Olympics.
The ceremony started with the traditional parade of athletes. Athletes and their coaches were welcomed to the Games by the "Wall of Honor" consisting of law enforcement personnel from all over Nevada who raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics throughout the year.
Opening Ceremony concluded with the dramatic arrival of the Flame of Hope escorted by a police motorcade and law enforcement personnel. The law enforcement personnel were joined by Special Olympics athletes, and together, they lit the Special Olympics caldron to officially open the Games. Spectators were more than welcome to cheer our athletes on and there was no charge for admission.
An important part of Summer Games is the running of the Special Olympics Torch, the "Flame of Hope" prior to the start of the Games. The Flame of Hope was relayed through our communities throughout Nevada, escorted by various law enforcement agency personnel. The final relay of the Torch ended at Opening Ceremony where it lit the caldron signaling the opening of the Games. It was estimated that hundreds of Law Enforcement personnel had the honor of escorting the Flame of Hope in their community on its journey to the Games. Many of them were at Summer Games presenting awards to the athletes during the competition.