Special Olympics SC heads to New Jersey

Special Olympics

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Thousands of athletes, their coaches and families are descending on New Jersey for the national Special Olympics competition.

170 athletes left from Columbia Methropolitan Airport this morning.

The games are being held in several locations in the central part of the state, including Rider University, The College of New Jersey and Princeton University.

Athletes will compete in 16 sports. Organizers say about 3,500 athletes will participate along with 1,000 coaches and about 10,000 volunteers.

The games begin with an opening ceremony at Newark's Prudential Center on Sunday that will feature music, videos and fireworks. Among the celebrities scheduled to participate are actresses Jane Lynch and Brooklyn Decker and Philadelphia 76ers player Michael Carter-Williams.

The Special Olympics run through next weekend.