According to a press release from the organization, Special Olympics Illinois athletes throughout the state will be heading to Galena to compete in the 42nd annual Winter Games from Tuesday, January 31st to Thursday, February 2nd.

Credit: Special Olympics Illinois
Credit: Special Olympics Illinois
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Nearly 340 athletes will compete during the three-day competition across a number of events. The snowshoeing and alpine skiing competitions will take place at Chestnut Mountain Resort and Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa.

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Check out last year's hype video for the Illinois Winter games below!

In 1980, Special Olympics Illinois and Galena came together to host the first-ever Winter Games and are proud to continue that partnership today. The Special Olympic Winter Games is one of 13 state sports competitions. This specific event is the culminating competition for those that participate in alpine skiing and snowshoeing for the state. As always, the public is invited and encouraged to attend or volunteer.

Credit: Special Olympics Illinois
Credit: Special Olympics Illinois
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Tentative Competition Times are as follows:

 Alpine skiing

  • Tuesday, January 31, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Wednesday, February 1, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 2, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Snowshoeing 

  • Tuesday, January 31, from noon to 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday, February 1, from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 2, from 9:30 AM to noon

The Opening Ceremony and the Parade of Athletes will be held in downtown Galena beginning at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, January 31st. To kick off the games, Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run officers will hand off the torch to athletes who will carry it along its path and light the cauldron holding the Flame of Hope.

Credit: Special Olympics Illinois
Credit: Special Olympics Illinois
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The 2023 Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games is made possible by amazing sponsors like; Illinois Knights of Columbus, Amazon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Dunkin’, Gallagher, Hyatt, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Jewel-Osco, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Lerner & Rowe, Pacira, PCA, Sloan Global Holdings LLC, United Airlines, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, and Chestnut Mountain.

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The Special Olympics of Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization that offers year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and over 9,000 Young Athletes ages 2 to 7 with and without intellectual disabilities. They strive to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year-round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development. Find more information here.

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