NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) – The Special Olympics Illinois weekend event officially came to a close, making its in-person comeback after being inactive for two years.

The president and CEO of Special Olympics Illinois, Dave Breen, said the turnout was great.

“We had 2,500 athletes participating in 6 sport state championships,” said Breen. “We had over 1,000 coaches and over 1,500 volunteers.”

He said his favorite part of the competition was seeing how excited the athletes were.

“It made me feel great that the athletes were competing again and getting out into the community and showing their abilities, that’s what I take away from every event,” said Breen.

Breen said they also had an athlete co-host the event for the first time through their athlete leadership program.

“MJ helped co-emcee our opening ceremonies for the first time, so it was the first time we had an athlete that was up there emceeing, so that was pretty special,” said Breen.

He said they are already working on plans for the Special Olympics next year.