This weekend, 900 Connecticut Special Olympics athletes will let their skills shine on the ski slopes, the ice rink, and more.
The Winter Games opened in East Hartford, Windsor, Plainville, Simsbury, and Middlefield on Saturday and will run through Sunday.
For the second year in a row, Mother Nature did not cooperate for the outdoor events. Last year, volunteers had trouble keeping the snow from melting as the mercury rose during the games.
This year, again there was no snow. So, volunteers were up with the sun to start making emergency snow.
The bitterly cold temperatures ensured that the snow wouldn’t melt this year, but they also caused some of the ski events to be delayed until it was a bit warmer outside.
“Obviously, the health and welfare of our athletes are the most important thing,” said Debbie Horne, spokesperson for Special Olympics Connecticut.
The temperature was just right inside the Pratt and Whitney hangar, where the first event of the day, floor hockey, got underway.
“It’s exciting, an adrenaline rush, and just have a good old time making friends around here,” said Raishaun Holloway of West Hartford.
It took eight to ten people eight hours to put the two rinks together inside the hangar, which usually houses airplanes and engines.
Organizers say the games wouldn't even be possible without their volunteers.
“Our volunteers are the heart of Special Olympics,” said Horne.
“It feels good and it shows everybody cares,” added Alex English of Windsor Locks.
The Winter Games will wrap-up with a full schedule on Sunday. To learn more click here.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut