Sunshine for Special Olympics Area Winter Games Hosted at Big Sky Resort

Big Sky, Mont. (March 4, 2014) - The 5th annual Special Olympics Montana Big Sky Area Winter Games was met with sunshine and smiling faces at Big Sky Resort. 54 Montana athletes competed in alpine skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing events at Big Sky Resort's Madison Base Area and cross country skiing at Lone Mountain Ranch.

Taylor Middleton, General Manager of Big Sky Resort, made opening remarks to kick off the festivities and local radio-celebrity, DJ Missy O'Malley was the guest emcee of the opening and closing ceremonies. Over 60 volunteers were on hand to assist and cheer on the athletes representing Gallatin, Park, Sweetgrass, and Madison counties in Southwest Montana.

Advanced and intermediate races were held on Wagon Train ski run and O'Malley emceed throughout the day. Novice races were held on Cupajo ski run with the 50 and 100 meter snowshoe races on Madison Avenue in front of the Madison Base Area.

"Big Sky's support ensures the local community, volunteers and families can enjoy the competition and celebrate the accomplishments of athletes they know and love in their community" said Sean Fitzgerald, Big Sky Area Winter Games Coordinator for Special Olympics Montana.

Big Sky Ski Education Foundation, a non-profit organization deeply rooted in spreading the participation of downhill racing and freestyle skiing, provided 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.