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'Flame of Hope' at Bulloch Courthouse
Special Olympics cauldron unveiled
111010 SPECIAL OLYMPIC CAULDRON 1 web
Reggie Plant of Statesboro lights the new Special Olympic Cauldron created by artist and Georgia Southern University alumni Duke Oursler after its unveiling at the Bulloch County Courthouse Wednesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

State games schedule

Friday
* 11:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Team Softball, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Bocce, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.   Bicycle Inspections & Drop-Off, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Athlete Staging for Parade, Southeast Bulloch High Field
* 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony, Southeast Bulloch High Field

Saturday
* 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Team Softball, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Softball Skills, Mill Creek Regional Park (Field 7)
* 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Bocce, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. Golf Skills, Forrest Heights Country Club
* 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Long Distance Run/Walk, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cycling, Mill Creek Park
* 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Olympic Town, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Healthy Athletes (Fun Fitness) @ Olympic Town
* 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Golf Individual and Team Play, Forest Heights CC

Sunday
* 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Team Softball, Mill Creek Regional Park
* 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Bocce, Mill Creek Park

Selected to create a new cauldron that would contain the flame for state Special Olympics events in Georgia, Duke Oursler said he wanted to sculpt a work of art that would inspire the athletes.

"The games are for the youngsters and adults who compete," Oursler said. "I hope the athletes will look at the torch and remember it during the games and when they go home."

Oursler's cauldron holding the Special Olympics "Flame of Hope" was unveiled Wednesday in front of the Bulloch County Courthouse. While the flame was lit Wednesday, the official opening of the Special Olympics State Games is set for Friday night at Southeast Bulloch High School. The ceremony gets underway at 7:30 p.m. on the football field.

Events actually begin Friday morning with Bocce and softball games going on at Mill Creek Park. About 1,400 athletes from around the state will compete in Bocce, softball, cycling and golf all weekend. It is the third year Statesboro has been the host city for the State Games.

Wednesday, Oursler was joined by Special Olympics athletes Reggie Plant and Tevin Tremble in lighting the cauldron. Plant climbed the three steps to reach the cauldron and lit the flame with a torch. Both athletes are from Statesboro.

The cauldron is made of sanded stainless steel that looks like marble, said Oursler, who was a graduate student at GSU's Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art when he was selected to sculpt the cauldron. He said it took three months to create and design the cauldron and about a month to sand until it was sparkly into almost a mirror surface, like a piece of forever-lasting jewelry.

 

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