2017 Mississippi Special Olympics kick off in Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

2017 Mississippi Special Olympics kick off in Biloxi

More than 700 Special Olympians from across Mississippi will compete at the state games this weekend at Keesler Air Force Base. (Photo source: WLOX) More than 700 Special Olympians from across Mississippi will compete at the state games this weekend at Keesler Air Force Base. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

With the torch lit, Mississippi's 2017 Special Olympic games are officially underway. More than 700 athletes from 15 different regions of the state converged on Keesler Air Force Base to compete this weekend. Events include track and field, weightlifting, aquatics, and bowling.

"I feel good about it," said Rose White, a bowler from Natchez. "This is my second year and I hope to be back again."

Rose Miller is just as confident about her swimming event.

"We've been practicing every Wednesday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I think I'll win," said Miller.

Keesler AFB has been hosting the games for more than 30 years, and it's a partnership everyone at the base takes very seriously

"It allows our airmen that are coming straight out of basic training to actually interact with people here in Mississippi," explained Committee Member Captain Derek Worth.

Those airmen sponsors have the important task of making sure athletes are properly hydrated and ready for their events. 

"I thought it would be a really fun experience," said Angela George. "For one, it gets us out of doing AFI and, like, cleaning and stuff. And I thought it would be a pretty cool experience because most people who've been here before, who've been to tech school here before, have never had this kind of experience."

Airman Evan Boyd knew he wanted to volunteer his time since he has family members with special needs.

"It's really rewarding. You know, a lot of people don't get to experience how good of a feeling it is to help someone with the simplest of tasks and have someone really appreciate it," said Boyd.

Several special guest speakers also took part in Friday night's opening ceremonies, including Biloxi Mayor Fofo Gilich, Senator Roger Wicker, and WLOX News Director Brad Kessie. 

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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