CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Every year, thousands of Special Olympic athletes compete in various sports, across the nation.

On Saturday, Flour Bluff High School hosted the 36th annual South Texas Area Spring Games. The morning kicked off with an opening ceremony in the stadium. 

Hundreds of athletes gathered with their family and friends for track and field events. Organizers predicted 550 athletes competed in Saturday's competition. 

After the opening ceremony, the female athletes started with track events while the men participated in field events. 

CITGO is one of the proud sponsors of this event. Organizers said they cannot put on the games without help from companies like CITGO. 

Long-time director, Alice Fulton-Garza, handed over the torch to the new South Texas Special Olympics Executive Director, Shawn Britt. 

After working for the organization for over 40 years, Fulton-Garza said it was time to retire and prepare for her first grandchild who is on the way. 

The Spring Games mark the beginning of various events for the Special Olympics. For more information on dates and times, visit their website.