Special Olympics Area Winter Games Hosted at Big Sky Resort

Big Sky, Mont. (February 7, 2014) - Big Sky Resort is the host for the 5th annual Special Olympics Montana Big Sky Area Winter Games to be held Monday, Mar. 3, 2014. Sixty Montana athletes will compete in alpine skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing events at Big Sky Resort's Madison Village Base Area.

The Big Sky Area Special Olympics Winter Games athletes represent Gallatin, Park, Sweetgrass, and Madison counties in Southwest Montana. Participating athletes will take part in the Opening Ceremony at the Madison Village Base area, emceed by local radio-celebrity, DJ Missy O'Malley, from The Moose radio.

Advanced and intermediate races will be held on Wagon Train ski run and novice races being held on Cupajo ski run. The 50 and 100 meter snowshoe races will be set up on Madison Avenue in front of the Madison Village Base Area.

"Having the Special Olympics area winter games at Big Sky Resort more than doubled the number of local athletes who compete in skiing, snowshoeing and cross country events. Prior to the partnership, local athletes had to travel to another ski resort outside the area which limited participation," said Sean Fitzgerald, Big Sky Area Winter Games Coordinator for Special Olympics Montana. "Big Sky's support also ensures the local community, volunteers and families can enjoy the competition and celebrate the accomplishments of athletes they know and love in their community."

Big Sky Ski Education Foundation, a non-profit organization deeply rooted in spreading the participation of downhill racing and freestyle skiing, will be providing race equipment and course set up.

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.