The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games opened in spectacular fashion on a beautiful Seattle afternoon yesterday with roughly 40,000 fans filling Husky Stadium at the University of Washington.
Special Olympics Wisconsin and 4,000 other competitors were entertained by the likes of DJ Marshmello, Allen Stone and Charlie Puth. SOWI Hall of Fame athlete Cindy Bentley helped start the ceremony with some inspirational words standing alongside the host for the evening, acclaimed actor and singer Taye Diggs.
The Team Wisconsin delegation of 79 entered the stadium in the Parade of Athletes led by swimmer Joshua Gorecki, who earned the honor by winning the team’s step challenge. In June alone he walked more than 900,000 steps.
Additional inspiration and excitement was provided by special guests like Washington Governor Jay Inslee, NFL player Shaquem Griffin, and WWE superstars Stephanie McMahon, Mark Henry and Charlotte Flair.