POUGHKEEPSIE – The 2016 State Special Olympics Winter Games will be held in the region on February 19-21 and to welcome the hundreds of athletes, families and supporters, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro gave a hearty welcome at Bowdoin Park in Poughkeepsie on Wednesday.
Molinaro is the honorary chairman of the winter games.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to host the 2016 Special Olympics New York State Winter Games next month and show how we in Dutchess County ‘Think Differently’ about people of all abilities,” Molinaro said. “Each day, these athletes inspire each of us to overcome obstacles and challenges, and next month we’ll cheer for them as they strive to achieve – whether that means winning a medal, simply competing, or making new friends. Dutchess County is proud to play a large role in providing these athletes and their families an experience they’ll long cherish.”
The games will begin with opening ceremonies, a ceremonial parade of athletes, motivational speeches, local entertainment, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Mid-Hudson Civil Center in Poughkeepsie. The civic center will also host the closing ceremonies and a victory dance on February 20.
Event venues include alpine skiing at Holiday Mountain Ski Area in Monticello; figure skating at the McCann Ice Arena in Poughkeepsie; cross country skiing and snowshoeing at Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie; and floor hockey at the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.
Athletes for the games will come from across the state and many families cannot make the trip. Volunteers from the community are needed to attend the competitions, watch and cheer for the participants.