BOSTON (CBS) — Opening ceremonies for the Massachusetts Special Olympics Summer Games took place in Boston Friday.

Over 2,000 local athletes joined together to celebrate how far they’ve come.

“Our athletes were kind of hidden in the communities and hidden in schools and hidden in development centers and institutions. Today they’re out on fields like Boston University and Harvard Athletic Stadium to show people their abilities and not their disabilities,” said Mary Beth McMahon, CEO of Special Olympics Massachusetts.

Part of the athletes at the Special Olympics line up during the Opening Ceremonies (WBZ-TV)

This year’s games are the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, which were founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Athlete Jonathan Correa likes Javelin best. “Because you can see how long you can throw it and see how far you can get,” he said.

Athletes are not the only ones enjoying the night, many help to put the games on, and the crowd is full of energy. “I like to do stuff for a whole lot of people,” explained Stephanie Weaver.

Police officers high-five participants of the Special Olympics (WBZ-TV)

Local law enforcement is also a large supporter of the games, they’ve donated more than $600,000. At the ceremony, many officers lined up to high-five participants.

“It’s very very moving when the athletes come up, the high fives, the hugs, it’s an amazing feeling,” said Chief James DiGianvittorio, the Torch Run executive director.

The carrying of the torch made it official, and then two days full of six sporting events began.


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