This is the second of three years that Missoula is hosting the Montana Special Olympics Summer Games, and the opening ceremonies were held Wednesday night in Washington Grizzly Stadium.

There were bands, special speakers such as Governor Steve Bullock and Mike Halligan with the Phyllis and Dennis Washington Foundation, gymnasts and acrobats, but most especially, over 1,100 special athletes who marched into the stadium representing over 70 teams from every corner of the state.

Governor Bullock welcomed the crowd of parents, friends and supporters to the first time the Summer Games opening ceremonies have ever been held outside.

"It's hard to tell who's having more fun," said Bullock. "The athletes, the coaches and supporters..because the Special Olympics is one of those rare events that leaves all of us richer for the experience."

Mike Halligan played on the emotional heartstrings of the crowd.

"If any of you have been at the finish line of the track and field events, or the weightlifting inside the Adams Center, you can see there's not a dry eye in the place," he said. "And, you can't put a price on that,"

The games will continue at various venues throughout Missoula this week.

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