Special Olympics Kick Off in Woodstock

By Megan Carpenter | mcarpenter@nexstar.tv

Published 03/07 2014 11:34PM

Updated 03/08 2014 12:08AM

WOODSTOCK, Vt.- The opening ceremony for Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games kicked off Friday night.
This is the seventh year Woodstock has hosted the competition.

"They really work hard all year long to get ready for something like this," says Event Organizer Liza Reed.  "Tomorrow and Sunday, they'll really have the opportunity to show their stuff."

404 athletes take on Suicide Six mountain Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m.  They will compete in four sports:
-Snowboarding
-Snowshoeing
-Alpine Skiing
-Cross country skiing

"M
y classmates from school are cheering me on and my family is here watching me, so it's such a great thing," says alpine skiing competitor Daton Orton.

For many of the athletes, months of training have led up to this moment.

"They're all smart athletes and they're all capable and to have them here as a group is just fantastic," says Carolyn Antone, a coach at Smuggler's Notch.

The Winter Games is one of thirteen statewide competitions Special Olympics Vermont holds each year.  Saturday and Sunday, competitors age eight to seventy will compete. While winning is the goal, athletes say good sportsmanship and enjoying one another is most important.

"If you don't get a medal or a ribbon, just have fun," says Mary LaFountain, a cross country skiing competitor from Addison County.

The opening ceremony concluded with a traditional lighting of the torch.

 



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