MISSION, Kan. – More than 100 individuals with intellectual disabilities took part in skiing and snowshoeing events Thursday during the first day of competition at the Special Olympics Heartland Winter Games at Snow Creek.
Athletes ranging in age from 8- to 64-years-old traveled from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas to compete in the games this year.
Throughout January, athletes practiced in their home states and attended clinics at Snow Creek to train with ski instructors, test equipment and practice on the slopes.
The Heartland Winter Games have taken place since 1989 when founder John L. Cassidy rallied the Kansas City Ski Club to host the games to allow athletes an opportunity to train and compete in Weston. Prior to that time athletes had to travel to Colorado to participate in winter sports.
This year’s competition will conclude Friday with downhill and slalom skiing starting at 8 a.m.
Below are some photo’s from the games of the Arkansas Athletes that did compete in the Special Olympics.