The Special Olympics Tennessee state summer games are returning for the first time since 2019 with a six-sport slate of events this weekend at Lipscomb University, Lipscomb Academy and Centennial Sportsplex.

More than 600 athletes across Tennessee will be competing in the events, which took a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lipscomb has been a tremendous partner for Special Olympics Tennessee for as long as I can remember,” Special Olympics Tennessee VP of Sports Sean Stake said in a release. “They believe in the event. They believe in the athletes. They thoroughly enjoy being a part of our Summer Games, and we are beyond thankful for their support every year.”

Opening ceremonies will be from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. at Allen Arena at Lipscomb Academy and will feature an encouragement speech from former Super Bowl winning quarterback and Lipscomb Academy head football coach Trent Dilfer.

Metro Nashville Police Department, Brentwood Police Department, Knoxville Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sevier County Search & Rescue, Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office, Manchester Police Department, Montgomery County Driver’s Safety and the Tennessee POST Commission will kick off the event with the law enforcement torch run.

Brad Turner, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and various members of the Davidson County legislative delegation will also be in attendance.

“Our athletes, coaches, volunteers and sponsors are thrilled to finally be back," Stake added. "The athletes have waited a long time and have worked hard to show off their skills to compete against their peers at this year’s games.”

The games will take place on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. The full schedule is below:

  • Aquatics, Centennial Sportsplex — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Tennis, Tennis Center — 8:30 a.m.
  • Athletics, Lipscomb Academy track — 8:30 a.m.
  • Unified volleyball, Lipscomb Academy volleyball courts 1 & 2 — 8:30 a.m.
  • Bocce/unified bocce, intramural field — 9 a.m.
  • Powerlifting, Lipscomb Academy weight room — 9 a.m.
  • Young athletes, Lipscomb Academy track — 9:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Softball throw/mini javelin, Lipscomb Academy track — 10 a.m.
  • Standing long jump, Lipscomb Academy track — 10 a.m.
  • Running long jump, Lipscomb Academy track — 10:45 a.m.
  • Victory celebration, LU George Shinn Center, Ezell building — 6:30-8:30 p.m.