Posted by: sonewjersey | February 4, 2013

Let the Games Begin: 2013 Winter Games

thomasTonight, the Special Olympics New Jersey 2013 Winter Games opened here at Mountain Creek with a welcome ceremony, the parade of athletes, lighting of the Torch and a fireworks display!

While the parade of 300 athletes passed in front of Red Tail Lodge, SONJ athlete Becky Grant waited on her skis on top of Sugar Slope to bring down the Torch. She was escorted down the mountain by about 20 members of ski patrol carrying red flares, with the crowd below chanting her name, “Becky! Becky!” Once she made it down, with a huge smile on her face, she passed the Torch onto SONJ athlete Thomas Gutierrez who carried it over to the cauldron for the official lighting of the Torch.

The Games were pronounced open, and despite the 20-degree weather, everyone stayed outside to watch a spectacular fireworks show sponsored by Garden State Fireworks.

Excitement is in the air as competition begins tomorrow morning, with alpine skiing and snowboarding starting at 9:15 a.m., snowshoeing at 9:30 a.m. followed by cross country skiing at 10:30 a.m. These four sports will be held at Mountain Creek. Skylands Ice World hosts figure and speed skating tomorrow as well, with the first competition at 10:00 a.m.

Check back here for live updates as the Games progress.



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