Special Olympics Gets Ready To Kick Off 2001 Events

Mississippi's Special Olympics hosted a luncheon Wednesday to officially kickoff the Summer Games.

Volunteers and organizers discussed plans for the upcoming games at Keesler Air Force base. About 1,000 special athletes will take part in the summer competition. Leaders say the Mississippi Gulf Coast has always provided a warm welcome for the Special Olympics.

"The games will be held May 11th through the 13th. The athletes will be housed at Keesler Air Force base, and a lot of the activities will be on base. But there will be competitions in the Gulf Coast communities as well," Helen Parish with the Special Olympics said. "We're adding one more sport this year. That will bring us up to 10, and the new sport we're adding is golf."

Eight special athletes from Mississippi did quite well at the recent Special Olympic winter games in Anchorage, Alaska. They came home with 13 gold, three silver and three bronze medals.