Franklin Countys First News

50th annual Special Olympics winter games kick off Monday

The Maine Special Olympics will be held Jan. 27 - Jan. 29 at Sugarloaf.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY - Athletes from across the state will travel to Sugarloaf this weekend in preparation for the 50th annual Special Olympics Maine Winter Games. The annual tradition began in 1970 on a small hill in Gorham with only a handful of people. This year's event will host nearly 400 athletes from 59 teams throughout the state.

As teams gather in Carrbassett Valley they will be welcomed along the way in neighboring towns for stretch breaks and snacks, ending with a community-led meal at Sugarloaf. Ice skating and hot chocolate, a sing along and karaoke will kick off the three days worth of races and competitions.

Monday will see the traditional lighting of the torches, parade and fireworks to follow. During the three days of events, athletes will compete in Nordic and Alpine skiing, snowshoeing, speed skating and dual skiing.

The Special Olympics is a year round athletic training and competition program for adults and children with intellectual disabilities. In Maine there are over 4,800 athletes involved in the program which offers over 75 events annually at the local, and state levels.

For further information on Special Olympics Maine or the State Winter Games please call 879-0489 or email Lisa Bird at lisab@somaine.org Beginning Saturday, Jan. 25 call Sugarloaf at the Summit Hotel at 1-800-THE LOAF and ask to be connected with Special Olympics. Any questions during the games please call the Summit Hotel or Lisa Bird’s cell at 207-839-5578.

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