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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Last week’s massive downpour couldn’t completely wash out the year of planning that went into the 2005 Kadena Special Olympics.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the weather looked promising for the event, now slated for Saturday after being rained out on its original June 18 date. Thousands of people are expected to converge on Kadena High School from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Everything is going well and we still expect to have the same events as we would have had last week,” said Chip Steitz, Special Olympics Okinawa board member. “We’re still hoping that all participants slated to come last week will show up on game day.”

More than 800 athletes will compete in 18 events. Also, hundreds of special-needs artists will have their work on display.

Expect heavy traffic coming through Gate Five, which is reserved for athletes and distinguished visitors.

Gate One, which still is under construction, will not be open as originally planned. Gates 3 and 4 will operate as usual.

Shuttle buses will pick up participants and spectators from various parking areas on a regular basis, including the Schilling Community Center and Bob Hope and Amelia Earhart elementary schools.

Opening ceremonies are to begin at 10 a.m. with a parade of athletes. The closing ceremony is to start at 4:30 p.m. on the main field.

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