CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — One by one, proud athletes marched into the Special Olympics Maine Winter Games opening ceremonies at Sugarloaf on Monday, welcomed by loud cheers from supporters, law enforcement, Miss Maine, and Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott.
Almost 400 competitors from 59 teams will participate this year in numerous events: Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, snowshoe, speed skating, and dual ski. Each event is open to all abilities.
Events began bright and early Monday morning with time trials in cross country and alpine skiing events.
Lisa Bird of Special Olympics Maine (SOME) said, "This is their culminating event, this is what they have been training for." It's a three-day event filled with courage, strength, and hope.
There are over 4,800 athletes involved in the SOME program, which has 75 events annually.
Event finals will be Tuesday beginning at 8 a.m. The closing ceremonies will be Tuesday at 12 p.m. at the Sugarloaf Village's The Beach.