Special Olympics brings 2013 mid-winter games to Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)Every year 22,000 athletes living with disabilities participate in the state's Special Olympics.

On Saturday, about a thousand of them will take part in the organization's mid-winter games held in downtown Charleston at the Citadel.

On Friday, the Special Olympics held its opening ceremonies at McCalister Field House.

Trampus Hoover, 25, carried the torch inside the gym that ultimately lit the cauldron.

"It's a very good honor for me to do it," said Hoover, who will take part in the bowling competition.

To kick off the weekend games, Walmart presented organizers of the Special Olympics with a $100,000 check. The money will go to help fund athlete participation in the games.

During the mid-winter games, athletes will participate in bowling, basketball, badminton, flag football and power lifting.

The games attract people from all over the state.

"Our athletes have all had to train for eight weeks with a certified coach before they could get a slot at the state games, so it's a big thing for them," said Sue Maner with the Special Olympics.

The closing ceremony will take place Saturday night at 7 o'clock at McCalister Field House.