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Continuing with tradition, hundreds of athletes, coaches, families, and friends representing all corners of Pennsylvania travel to Johnstown, PA for Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s third-largest state-wide event, the Winter Games.  During the course of the event, more than 300 athletes and 150 coaches participate in three days of exciting winter sports – competing in alpine and cross-country skiing, figure and speed skating, snowshoeing and individual skills events.  Weeks of hard work and dedication in training is rewarded as athletes are cheered on and supported during competition by more than 1,500 enthusiastic volunteers.

This event requires volunteers from around the state to serve as officials, athlete escorts, award presenters, and in various other ways. Spectators are welcome to visit any of the competition venues and cheer on the athletes.

Winter Games will be held from February 9 - 11, 2014 in Johnstown, PA.

Volunteers from across the state are welcome and spectators are encouraged to visit any of the competition venues to cheer on athletes. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Mike Ermer at 607-435-0693 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

View Our 2014 Winter Games Press Release

View Our Event Media Alert

View Our Winter Games Tentative Schedule

View Our Winter Games HOD Handbook


2014 Winter Games Major Event Sponsors

   Sheetz  LETR Mark Pennsylvania Color

 gilbane  Aerotek_Logo   td_bank

geico          Caesars_III    UPMC_Health_Plan_Logo_No_Tag_Line

UPMC 1 H RGB Tag       Hidden_Valley_Resort_full_color   temperance_house_logo_1

    EDMC_Logo  LOGO - CalgonCarbon-2945C-3x300

   6_wjac_logo_4c_horiz       TRIB-DEM_LOGO  

forever      Trau--Loevner-logo

Concurrent Technologies Corporation

Marquette Savings Bank

Pasquerilla Enterprises

The Jack Buncher Foundation

Planet Ice

John E. and Sue M. Jackson Charitable Trust

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.

Whalley Charitable Trust

Donald B. & Dorthy L. Stabler Foundation

David & Marjorie Rosenberg Foundation


2013 Winter Games Recap

Winter Games Torch Lighting

Athletes in this year’s Special Olympics Pennsylvania joined volunteers Sunday night to light the Winter Games’ torch at Central Park in downtown Johnstown. Photo Credit: Tribune-Democrat/David Hurst

More than 325 athletes and 135 coaches traveled to the 2013 Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Winter Games in Johnstown, PA from February 10th - 12th. This 37th Annual statewide competition returned to the Johnstown area for the 12th consecutive year and featured competition in alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, speed skating and figure skating.

View Event Photos Taken by Photography by Dane!

2013 Polar Plunge

Batman, aka Michael McLaughlin (center), runs to shore with others after taking the Polar Plunge on Saturday at the Quemahoning Reservoir to benefit Special Olympics PA. Photo Credit: Tribune-Democrat/Pat Bucknowski

Kicking the 2013 Winter Games off a day in advance on Saturday, February 9, 2013, 450 brave individuals were “freezin’ for a reason” as they took the plunge into the cold waters of Quemahoning Reservoir in Boswell, PA during the Laurel Highlands Plunge. The event raised approximately $60,000 for nearly 20,000 Special Olympics PA athletes.

Check Out Event Coverage for Winter Games & The Laurel Highlands Polar Plunge

The Tribune-Democrat - Official Newspaper Sponsor!

Special people, Special Olympics: Annual Winter Games exciting, successful

VIDEO | Athletes to share special skating opportunity

Special Olympics speed skaters compete at Planet Ice

Let the games begin: Central Park torch-lighting ceremony opens Special Olympics

Hundreds take plunge for Special Olympics

Daily American

Special Olympics at Blue Knob

Special Olympics athletes gather for opening ceremonies

Polar participants take plunge

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Rewards go beyond winning at Special Olympics

2013 Winter Games Spirit Award Winners

2013 Winter Games Spirit Award Winners2

Pictured from left to right: SOPA President and CEO Matt Aaron; Somerset County athletes and 2013 Spirit Award recipients Laura and Donny Penrod; and Montgomery County athlete and 2010 Spirit Award recipient Brendan McOwen.

The Winter Games Spirit Award acknowledges the outstanding energy, determination and enthusiasm that it takes for an athlete to get to Winter Games. While Special Olympics PA (SOPA) have traditionally only honored one athlete for this award each year, it recognized an exceptional “couple” of athletes on Monday, February 11th.

Donny and Laura Penrod, a married couple from Somerset County, have shown support for each other throughout the year, and have been able to achieve great things as a pair. For example, they have demonstrated a continuing effort to improve the quality of their lives through exercise and healthy eating, which has resulted in the total loss of 80 pounds between the two of them! This weight loss has not only served as an inspiration to their coaches and fellow athletes, but has also enabled them to do their best in their Winter Games sport of snowshoeing. Their race times have improved, they show up to practices on time, they are ready to compete and full of positive energy.