NEWARK - The national Special Olympics are coming to New Jersey today, and thousands are expected to attend.

The events are happening at the Prudential Center in Newark. A crowd of nearly 20,000 people is expected.

Six Special Olympians started the torch run this week in Manhattan, and the "Flame of Hope" will arrive for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony, with a theme of inclusion, will be hosted by model and actress Brooklyn Decker and Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the honorary chair of the event, is expected to attend.

Also expected to cheer on the athletes is "Glee" star Jane Lynch. Her character Sue Sylvester on Fox's "Glee" is a cheerleading coach who encourages a girl with Down syndrome to participate with the cheer squad. Sylvester's sister and baby on the show also have Down syndrome.

AP wire services contributed to this report.