SEARCY, Ark. – Competition was underway Friday morning as the 2023 Special Olympics Arkansas Summer Games kicked off at Harding University in Searcy.

An estimated 1,500 athletes and coaches traveled from around the state to suit up and dig in to find the competitive spirit of the games. The event is open to the public.

According to its website, the Arkansas Special Olympics is a yearly competition of various Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

KARK 4 News Photojournalist Stephen Goodale captured the sights and sounds of the first day of events.

For more information on the Arkansas Special Olympics, visit