CASPER, Wyo. — From Tuesday, March 14 to Thursday, March 16, more than 350 athletes, Unified Sports Partners, coaches, families and cheerleaders from all over the Cowboy State will be in Jackson for the 2023 Special Olympics Wyoming State Winter Games.
This is the first state Winter Games that the organization has been able to come together for since the start of the pandemic.
The Winter Games will be hosted at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole High School, Summit High School, Snow King Resort and the Elks Lodge.
Winter Games is one of Special Olympics Wyoming’s five state sports competitions. It is the culminating competition for those participating in Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend all parts of Special Olympics Wyoming Winter Games.
The communities attending and participating are Arapahoe, Cody, Greybull, Lander, Worland, Evanston, Big Piney, Jackson, Laramie, Newcastle, Gillette, Sheridan and Casper, as well as Bozeman, Montana, and Park City, Utah.
- Alpine Skiing – Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
- Snowboarding – Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
- Cross-Country Skiing – Summit High School Fields
- Snowshoeing – Summit High School Fields
- Wednesday, 9 a.m. – Warm-up, Competition Sites
- Wednesday, 10 a.m. – Time Trials, Competition Sites
- Wednesday, 1 p.m. – Competition Starts, Competition Sites
- Thursday, 8:45 a.m. – Warm-up, Competition Sites
- Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–11 p.m. – Competition
- Thursday, 1 p.m.–2 p.m. – Competition
The Opening Ceremony and the Parade of Athletes will take place at Jackson Hole High School on Tuesday, March 14 at 7:15 p.m.
The Opening Ceremony is where all the athletes, Unified Sports partners, coaches and volunteers will gather to introduce the competing teams; recite the coaches, officials and athletes’ oaths; share some inspiring words; and celebrate the lighting of the “Flame of Hope.”
There will also be hundreds of handmade scarves donated from crochetiers and knitters from across the country distributed at this time.
Wyoming law enforcement personnel, better known as the Law Enforcement Torch Run, or LETR, have been volunteering, fundraising and spreading the word of inclusion for Special Olympics Wyoming since 1987.
At this year’s Winter Games, several different Wyoming law enforcement agencies will escort delegations into the Opening Ceremony and light the Flame of Hope, which symbolizes courage and celebrates diversity.
Wyoming law enforcement will also cheer on the athletes and present medals following each final competition on March 15 and 16.
This year, Special Olympics Wyoming Unified Champion Schools set a record of five teams competing at State Winter Games in Jackson in Unified Snowshoe and Unified Alpine.
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a strategy for pre-K through college schools that intentionally promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities to create accepting school environments.
Special Olympics Wyoming is a nonprofit organization providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, offering them continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.
Special Olympics Wyoming changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect.