The annual Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games kicked off Friday at noon.
More than 4,000 athletes will be competing for the gold in six different sports including track, soccer and gymnastics.
The summer games is one of the largest competitions held in Illinois.
Organizers say it's a great way for athletes to show off their skills and create lasting memories.
"It's just the best of the best in Illinois. They get an awesome experience. They get to stay in the dorms and they get to compete but they also get to socialize and that's just a crazy experience for our athletes," said Alexandra McMillin,Special Olympics Communications Manager.
The summer games run until noon on Sunday.
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