TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAVW) – Special Olympics Indiana Opening Ceremonies returned to the Hulman Center for the first time in three years on Friday.

Director of Donor Engagement Kelly Ries said that athletes and volunteers are thrilled to be able to be back in-person again ahead of the games.

“It’s just unbridled joy for them to celebrate their friendships with other Special Olympics delegations,” Ries said. “And be back here and competing in nine sports.”

Nearly 2,000 athletes will take part in nine sports over the course of the weekend. Ries said that soccer was added to the list of sports for the weekend.

Ries added that local sponsors played a big role in hosting the games and allowing a big event like to go on.