Last night the Special Olympics kicked off at Mountain Creek in Vernon, read about it below (courtesy of njherald dot com)
The 2013 Winter Games of the Special Olympics got underway last night with an opening ceremony at Mountain Creek.
Approximately 300 athletes and their families gathered outside the Red Tail Lodge, their spirits undimmed by the subfreezing temperatures.
Rich Dwyer, a volunteer with Special Olympics New Jersey, served as master of ceremonies for the event, which began at 7:30 p.m. and lasted approximately 45 minutes.
Don Flaght, chairman of the board at Special Olympics New Jersey, and Mountain Creek Resort President Bill Benneyan were among the
Others addressing the crowd included Bradford Johnson, the general manager of Skylands Ice World, and Vernon Mayor Vic Marotta.
Moses Choi, an athlete from Bergen County, recited the oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Up next was the torch procession down the mountain, with the ski patrol lighting flares to mark the path, followed by athlete Becky Grant from Somerset County with the torch.
Fireworks concluded the ceremony.
Competition will take place today and Wednesday at two venues.
Mountain Creek will host skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing today and Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Figure skating and speed skating will take place today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Skylands Ice World.
Some of the athletes are from Sussex County.
Katy Lido, spokeswoman for Special Olympics New Jersey, said there will be seven athletes from Sussex County on the Vernon Mountaineers alpine skiing team.
Special Olympics New Jersey, based in Lawrenceville, provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in 24 sports for more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
This year's competition will include a new event for athletes age 7 and younger. A "Riglet Park" snowboarding experience, which will provide children with their first introduction to snowboarding and sliding on snow, will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Mountain Creek.
The Winter Games is one of four statewide competitions held annually by Special Olympics New Jersey.
All events are free and open to the public.