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DelawareSpecial Olympics holds 53rd Summer Games this week

The 53rd annual Special Olympics Delaware Summer Games take place this weekend.

The Games kick off Friday morning at 9am at the University of Delaware Athletic Complex in Newark.

The event continues to grow, and Jon Buzby, Senior Director, Unified Champion Schools, says this year marks another milestone.

“I mean the number of athletes, which is almost 800, the number of unified partners who are peers without a disability - there are more than a hundred of them participating, and nearly 200 coaches, assistant coaches and volunteers.”

Buzby says the UD Athletic Complex helps make the games accessible and approachable for everyone.

“You can stand in the middle of the athletic complex and you are literally within 100 yards of every single venue that is there. I’ve been in other states where you had to get on a bus to go venue to venue.

The annual event kicked off Wednesday with the Games 38th annual Torch Run. Buzby emceed the torch's arrival in Wilmington.

“We are the only state in the country that runs the entire length of their state with that torch. Granted, we’re a smaller state than most of the other 49, but, in addition to running it that whole way we have a group of volunteers that follow the torch and make sure that it stays lit that entire 160 miles around the state. So we're very proud of that.”

The Special Olympics Delaware Summer Games run from 9:00am to 8:00pm Friday and 8:00am to 4:00pm Saturday at the UD Athletic Complex.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.