The Special Olympics regional games are coming to the Capital District this Saturday. The event will attract more than 70 athletes to the games, held at West Mountain Ski Area in Queensbury.
Athletes are coming from the local Capital District, the Hudson Valley Region, the North Country, the Southern Tier, and Long Island.
Special Olympics New York, provides free, year-round sports training and athletic competition in 22 Olympic-style sports for more than 64,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes gain confidence and build a positive self-image, which carries into the classroom, the home, the workplace and the community, the organization said in a press release.
The numbers of athletes are a little down from years prior according to Ryan Miller, director of program for the Capital Region. Volunteers are up, however, thanks to collaboration with area schools — Union College, State University of New York at Albany and Queensbury High School key club.
The 60 volunteers Saturday will serve lunch to the athletes, act as timers and scorekeepers, and as fans, sitting in the stands to cheer on the athletes. Saturday’s events include alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. Each athlete can participate in two events.
Saturdays events begin with athlete registration at 8:30 a.m. followed by the opening ceremonies at 9:15 a.m. and the start of the competition at 9:30 a.m. All events are free.