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Team North Carolina - 2018 USA Games July 2, 2018

Team NC parties at Opening Ceremony!

“Aaaand here comes the Tar Heel state!”

Team NC was full of smiles, high fives and a whole lot of energy as they marched into Husky Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games on Sunday, July 1.

Athletes and coaches enjoyed the program which featured guest appearances by Washington celebrities, music superstars and key members of the Special Olympics movement.

The program highlighted the four elements: earth, air, water and fire and their representation of dignity, courage, unity and joy, important qualities to the Special Olympics movement.

Performances by Maddie Poppe, Ann Wilson, Marshmello, Allen Stone and Charlie Puth kept everyone dancing. Speakers included Dr. Tim Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics, Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Honorary Chairman of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and WWE stars Stephanie McMahon, Mark Henry and Charlotte Flair.

From left to right: A performance by Allen Stone; Taye Diggs serves as emcee; Charlie Puth closes out the Ceremony; A message from Dr. Tim Shriver; A performance by Marshmello

The Flame of Hope was escorted by law enforcement officers from across the country, including Sgt. Jennifer Osborn from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Robin Callaway, a Special Olympics athlete from Mecklenburg County.

When the cauldron was lit and the games officially declared open, the crowd was electric!

After an unforgettable Opening Ceremony, Team NC is ready to get competition underway!

IN MY OWN WORDS

Hear what Seattle is like directly from Team NC!

“My favorite part of Opening Ceremony was walking out and hearing them announce the Tar Heel state!” - Anna Coleman, Team NC athletics

“I loved dancing with my teammates! We danced to every song.” - Venson Hopper, Jr., Team NC basketball

“The bass was my favorite part. I like when it’s loud because I can feel it in my chest and it gets me pumped up!” - Randy Talbot, Team NC swimming

“I loved when Charlie Puth sang ‘See You Again.’” - Éloise Magill, Team NC athletics

See the highlights:

Stay up to date with the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games by tuning into ESPN!

Cheer on Team NC by donating online today here!

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