THE Regional Special Olympics have kicked off in Bendigo.
The two-day carnival, dubbed the Games of Faith in honour of Bendigo's only gold-medal Olympian the late Faith Leech, involves more than 100 athletes competing in more than 80 swimming and ten pin bowling events.
The games started with an opening ceremony at Peter Krenz Leisure Centre in Kangaroo Flat, with the Bendigo Special Olympics Swimming squad and members of Victoria Police lighting an Olympic torch.
Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser was a guest at the event and wished good luck to all competitors.
"I am here on behalf of of my good friends Faith Leech who passed away in September last year," she said.
"I just wanted to say good luck to all the swimmers and I hope you enjoy your time."
The swimming competition is on during the afternoon at the pool, while ten pin bowling is on Sunday from 10am.