From Sunday’s opening ceremony through Tuesday’s closing celebrations, the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games were a rousing success. 

More than 350 athletes from across Pennsylvania and neighboring states gathered at Seven Springs Mountain Resort for downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.

Many of them left our region with medals – proof of their prowess – to go along with the smiles on their faces.

Charles Trump, 33, of Latrobe, won two medals in snowshoeing. As our Randy Griffith reported, warmer-than-normal weather meant the snowshoe competitors were racing on grass and mud as often as snow.

Still, Trump said, “I love it. I like time with the athletes that come, and the great coaches.”

Mike Ermer, Special Olympics competition director for the western region, noted that participants took home medals bearing logos that will remind them that they were winners in the 50th Winter Games.

“They go out there and want to win a gold medal,” Ermer said, “but their main goal is to do their best, have fun and see their friends and the other athletes do their best as well.”

What a fantastic event that our region is honored to host every year.

We look forward to the return of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games in 2021.

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