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Eastern Regional Special Olympic Games
Sun Valley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )
40 Special Olympic athletes competing in a day of events, including the giant slalom race.
Participants made it clear their sights were set on the medal stand.
Jeff Rust, Director of the event, says, "it’s our second time holding the regional’s here in Sun Valley. It’s a great event because you have the mountain that is easy accessible, you can walk. Sun Valley Company has been great in supporting us and letting us take over the mountain and I think they are just enjoying the snow, enjoying the terrain, and enjoying our beautiful mountain we have here.”
Clearly there is no shortage of enthusiasm and with two timed runs throughout the day the competitive spirit of the Olympics is in its prime.
Athlete Jared Dirkson notes, "I’m not scared at all. I just go fast and see how well I do."
Athlete Jose Trejo adds, "My favorite part is coming down the hill. It's my favorite part; it's not a very hard hill. The snow is nice and smooth."
Each athlete will qualify for the state games in the beginning of March.
Despite the competition, volunteers and skiers alike made room for laughter throughout the day.
Says Trejo, "I like the athletes and we have nice coaches and all my teammates are doing good."
Rust adds, "It's the smiles on their faces. It's the best part and they're all just having fun. That's what it's all about."
The opening ceremony for the state games will take place on February 28th.
Those games will also take place in Sun Valley.