A contingent made up of 26 Special Olympics Delaware athletes and coaches will leave June 30 to Seattle for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.

From July 1-6, Team Delaware will join Special Olympics athletes and coaches from across the nation for a week of special events and competitions in 14 team and individual sports.

“Having the opportunity to compete on a national stage is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of our athletes,” said Ann Grunert, executive director for Special Olympics Delaware. “It’s a chance to not only compete against some of the finest athletes from around the country, but to experience all of the thrills that go along with traveling to a national event. For some, it will the first time away from home. For others, it is going to be the first time traveling on an airplane. And for all of them, it will be an experience they will never forget.”

A send-off ceremony is set for 9:45 a.m. June 30 at the Delaware State Police — Troop 2 complex, 100 Lagrange Ave., Newark. Team Delaware will be introduced and local supporters recognized during the 20-minute ceremony that precedes the team’s departure via motor coach to the Philadelphia airport

Team Delaware’s journey at the USA Games begins with the opening ceremony July 1, where they will march in the Parade of Athletes in front of spectators at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium. ABC will broadcast the opening ceremony live starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

For more, visit sode.org.