PENINSULA, Ohio — On Tuesday, hundreds of athletes from around the state will put their skills to the test at Brandywine Ski Resort to compete in Ohio’s Special Winter Games.
Athletes will be competing for the top spot in snowboarding, skiing and snow shoeing.
There’s also team sports and unified competitions, which pairs athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to compete as a team.
When the athletes are not competing, they are training at 18 different sports facilities throughout the state.
More than 11,000 people volunteer for the events throughout the year.
Anyone over eight years old with an intellectual disability can compete. The average age of a competitor is 30.
Andrew Soper, a 37-year-old resident of Cincinnati, has been coming to the winter games for 20 years.
“I like seeing the younger generation of skiers come up and you know seeing the smiles on their faces it’s priceless," he said.
For him, it’s not all about winning.
“I’m hoping I medal but if I don’t it’s not what it’s about for me. It’s about seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces who haven’t competed before I'm a veteran I know what I'm doing."
The public is invited to attend the games. The events go until 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The winners of these events will go on to qualify for nationals.
More info here.