Special Olympics: Team Ulster going for gold in Dublin
It was a case of Storm Hector 0, Special Olympics 1, Irish President Michael D Higgins said last night as he welcomed Team Ulster's 273 athletes to Dublin.
Despite winds blowing the stage down the night before, the opening ceremony went ahead.
Thousands of athletes, coaches, volunteers and supporters have turned out for the event.
The competitors, aged from eight to 76, said they were there to showcase their abilities.
In a rousing speech as he officially opened the event, President Higgins paid tribute to the competitors and to everyone involved in the Special Olympics over the past 40 years.
"What has been achieved has been so impressive," he said.
"Above all, it has been so inclusive, and I want to pay tribute to all those who over those years have made it possible year after year."
The Special Olympics begin today and carry on across the weekend.
Some 1,600 people from across Ireland are competing.