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Continuing with tradition, hundreds of athletes, coaches, families, and friends representing all corners of Pennsylvania participate in Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s third-largest state-wide event, the Winter Games.  During the course of the event, more than 350 athletes and 170 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.  To volunteer, contact Mike Ermer at1-800-233-5161 x 243 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Winter Games 2017 will take place from January 29 - 31.


Special World Games Announcement:

Athletes Attending the Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 have been announced!  

2017 Winter World Games in Austria

SOPA participants were chosen via a random draw during SOPA’s Winter Games at Seven Springs on February 7th. Congratulations to these athletes who will be a part of SO USA for these games. Please direct questions to Mike Ermer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Alpine Skiing – Female Advanced

Regine Wise – York County

Alpine Skiing – Male Intermediate

Ernest Reich – Montgomery County

Cross Country Skiing – Female Novice

Jenna Schultz – Erie City

Snowshoe – Male Level 2

Justin Grimley – Chester County

Figure Skating - Female Level 6

Joni Talavera – Bethlehem City

Speed Skating – Female Level 2

Dana Shick – Area M

Speed Skating – Male Level 4

Timothy McConnell – Area M

The event will be held in Austria (Graz and Schladming) from March 14-25. You can visit the website for more specific information: 

Winter Games 2016 Recap

Tribune Image 2016

More than 500 athletes and coaches from throughout Pennsylvania competed in the 2016 Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Winter Games held in Seven Springs and Johnstown, PA from February 7-9th. This statewide competition, that took place at Seven Springs Mountain Resort as well as theCambria County War Memorial Arena and Planet Ice in Johnstown,featured competition in alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and figure and speed skating. Cover image photo creditKecia Bal /The Tribune-Democrat.

Since Winter Games was held on Super Bowl Sunday, cool activities were planned that included a viewing party on a 22-foot screen. The Games officially began with Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Seven Springs Mountain Resort’s Festival Plaza. The anticipated Opening featured an array of speakers and performances to motivate and entertain the athletes, and commenced competition with the official lighting of the Olympic Torch. 


Competition began on Monday,February8andoffered amajority of competition at Seven Springs with the exception of figure skating (Cambria County War Memorial Arena) and speed skating (Planet Ice, Richland). Individual, relay, and team events took place. Award and Closing Ceremonies took place at each venue from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on February 9th.

More than 1,000 volunteers fromthe community, corporations, schools and universitiesparticipated in the event, serving in numerous capacities including officials, athlete escorts, award presenters, and administrative support services. 

Sheetz, Inc., Aerotek, GEICO, Gilbane Construction, W.W. Grainger, Lee Initiatives, Inc., Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts, Pitt Ohio and Primanti Bros. are major sponsors of this year’s event. In addition, WJAC, the Tribune Democrat, and WTAJ will serve as key Winter Games media partners.

Click here to view Photography by Dane Winter Games photos 

Unified SPorts Experience

Unified Sports Experience

The first ever Unified Snowshoeing Relay Challenge invited reception guests to play unified with our athletes, including WJAC-TV sports reporter Kari Osep. The Bedford County athletes on the winning team immediately received the privilege of lighting the cauldron at Opening Ceremonies with our friends from law enforcement!  Click here to view more Unified Sports Experience photos!



Check out our Media Coverage:

The Tribune Democrat (Media Partner)

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Daily American

Pittsburgh's NPR News Station

Bowling Green Daily News

WJAC (Media Partner)


CBS Local

Winter Games Video Footage


Winter Games 2016 tshirt BACK


Winter Games Polar Plunge


Special Olympics PA kicked the 2016 Winter Games off a couple of days in advance with a “splash party” on February 5th and a “plunge” on Saturday, February 6th. Hundreds of brave individuals were “freezin’ for a reason” as they jumped into the Canoe Creek State Park Lake in Hollidaysburg, PA during the Winter Games Polar Plunge. Over 400 plungers participated in the Plunge which raised more than $100,000.

The second annual Friday Night Splash offered attendees an evening of fun with live music from acoustic guitarist Matt Pletcher, free appetizers, a cash bar, cool raffle items, and a 50/50. Whereas, the Plunge welcomed special guest Jordan Conigliaro, WJAC TV sports director, who served as plunge emcee.