BUTTE-For the first time in almost a decade, the Special Olympics of Montana State Basketball Tournament will be in the Mining City over the next two days.
Over 1,000 people are expected to make their way to Butte for the three day event. The opening ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Butte Civic Center.
"It's a community for them as well, and they feel included and they feel like they're a part of something and that's really whats life's about," said Tina Hoeger, director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
A community of about 900 athletes have made their way to Butte. The 42 teams from all across Montana will show off their skills on the baksetball court and hopefully win some metals over the weekend.
Jamie Wood the Vice President of Sports for the Special Olympics of Montana says the teams will be busy with about 190 games played, Friday and Saturday. Crews and volunteers say they were busy settng up 8 different sites across Butte, but seeing the athletes play makes their hard work worth it.
"It's really neat to come out and watch our athletes in action it's an opportunity to concenrate on their ability not their disability," said Wood.
Hoeger says they were able to raise over $560,000 for the athletes last year. Hoeger along with other officers from across Monatana say it's an honor for them to raise money and give out metals to the teams, each year.
The officers also deliver the torch to signify the start of the games. "All of the work that law enforcement does all year long to raise awareness and funds for our athletes, I get to see that come to fruition," said Hoeger.
For a full schedule of events, click here.