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Special Olympics athletes take on the trails at White Grass

January 24, 2009
By ALEC RADER, Staff Writer

White Grass Ski Touring Center in Canaan Valley will continue its more than a decade of tradition by again hosting the Special Olympics West Virginia (SOWV) Winter Games. This year's event is planned for Jan. 28-30.

Participants, volunteers and parents will arrive on Jan. 28 and prepare for the next day. "The full, big day of racing" is Jan. 29, according to manager Chip Chase. This is when the nearly 130 athletes will compete all day in a series of events on the trails of the resort.

Chase said one of the reasons he helps the SOWV is because he enjoys seeing the reactions of the athletes when they win.

"To see them grab their medals and smile brings tears to your eyes," he said.

Chase said some of the athletes will compete in the national winter event later this season.

Chase hopes the weather will cooperate. He said without "good, natural skiing snow," the games could be relocated to one of the nearby ski resorts.

Fact Box

If you go...

What:?Special Olympics Winter Games

Where: White Grass Ski Touring Center

When: Jan. 28-30

While Chase encourages people to come out and cheer on these West Virginia athletes, a representative from SOWV said most of the volunteer positions for this event have already been assigned.

Anyone who would like to volunteer for future SOWV competitions, such as the state basketball tournament in March or the Summer Games in June, may call the SOWV toll-free at 800-926-1616 or visit



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