Special Olympics opening ceremonies tonight at UBC

The 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games kicked off Tuesday night at the Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC.

There are more than 2,000 athletes competing with 275 athletes and 70 coaches coming from BC to participate in the games. The youngest athlete on Team BC is 12 years old, and the oldest athlete is 77 years old.

Athletes will be housed on 17 floors of the Gage Towers at UBC, which are normally used as student housing during the school year.

Events will take place around the Lower Mainland, at UBC, the University Golf Club and the Zone Bowling Centre in Richmond.

Friday marks the start of rhythmic gymnastics competition at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Divisioning for soccer, softball and bocce is now complete with round robin play well underway. Divisioning races for swimming continue in the morning followed by final races in the evening at the UBC Aquatic Centre.

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At close of day 3, 3,522 of 2,214 medals have been awarded. The free Healthy Athletes program continues with screening in six key areas: podiatry, audiology, vision, dentistry, physical therapy, and health and wellness.  People with intellectual disabilities have a 40 per cent higher risk for health issues.

On Tuesday night, the Opening Ceremony was held at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena. Spectators were treated to a parade of athletes, dancers, and other performers.

WATCH: The opening of the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games took place Tuesday evening. Aaron McArthur reports.

Local police participated in a torch run starting on July 5.

Participating officers included Abbotsford, Delta, New Westminster, Port Moody, and Vancouver police departments, RCMP detachments throughout the Lower Mainland, Metro Vancouver Transit Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Military Police, Correctional Service of Canada, and the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

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