DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – More than 150 athletes gathered at three stations to compete in the 35th Iowa Special Olympics Winter Games.
Matches were held Monday and Tuesday at three separate resorts: Sundown Ski Resort, Camp Albrecht Acres and Grand Harbor. Sunset athletes compete in either alpine skiing or cross country skiing. The snowshoe competitors made it to the Albrecht Acres Camp for the first day.
Brian Bess, who competes in cross-country skiing, has high hopes for the competition.
“I hope for a gold medal,” he said. “Otherwise, I’ll have fun, in the process.
The first day consisted mainly of time trials to place the athletes in competitive heats. On Tuesday, they will be hosting the vast majority of events for the competition.
More than a hundred volunteers take part in setting up and running the games. They have been working there since December. Some, like Tony Anderson, are there as part of a program at the University of Iowa.
“All the athletes are great, they are super nice,” said Anderson. “Like they’re really competitive too, which I like because I’m super competitive. But it’s been a blast so far.”
The Special Olympics organization hosted a dance and opening ceremony on Monday night at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.