Inaugural Special Olympic games held at USM

Inaugural Special Olympic games held at USM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The local Special Olympic games were held in Hattiesburg this morning at Southern Miss.

The day kicked off with a very special opening ceremonies including the Olympic torch run. Families, volunteers, coaches and athletes all took part in the festivities, and then the games were underway. The athletes were put through several different types of drills in basketball and  in soccer, but the road doesn't end here for the athletes.

"This is our local inaugural games and the scores from here will be tabulated and the top tier of that will go on to our State competitions in Jackson the first weekend of April," said Lori Potter, a special education teacher. "That will be our state games and from there we hope we have some qualifying people go to the national games."

"I'm hoping to advance to the next round, the second round to go to Jackson on April 2," said athlete Joseph Saucier. "We just going to have to play hard and be strong and make our coach proud and our team proud."

After today's games Saucier and about 30 other athletes qualified to advance to the next round in April.