Over the last two days, athletes from across Pennsylvania converged on the sunny slopes of Hidden Valley Resort to participate in the alpine events portion of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Winter Games 2012. This marks the 11th year that Pennsylvania’s Winter Games have been held in the Johnstown, PA region. According to SOPA, more than 300 athletes and 135 coaches participated in the Winter Games.
The Winter Games featured individual, relay and team events in alpine skiing (held at Hidden Valley), cross‐country skiing (Blue Knob Four Seasons Resort), snowshoeing (Blue Knob Ski Resort), figure skating (Cambria County War Memorial Arena) and speed skating (Planet Ice, Richland).
The Olympic Torch burns at the base of Hidden Valley Resort during the SOPA 2012 Winter Games. Photo Courtesy of Hidden Valley.
The Winter Games began with an Opening Ceremony on Sunday, February 12 in Central Park, in the heart of Downtown Johnstown. The Ceremony featured an array of speakers, performances and the official lighting of the Olympic Torch to commence the competiton.
Skiers and riders enjoyed several inches of fresh snow over the weekend, and bluebird conditions for the SOPA competition.