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.
The 2013 Winter Games will be held from February 10 - 12, 2013 in Johnstown, PA.
Johnstown area skier Andrew Sambol (center), escorted by area police, lit the Winter Games torch Sunday, February 12th at Central Park.
More than 300 athletes and 135 coaches traveled to the 2012 Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Winter Games in Johnstown, PA from February 12‐14th. This statewide competition returned to the Johnstown area for the 11th consecutive year and featured competition in alpine and cross‐country skiing, snowshoeing and figure and speed skating. Sheetz, GEICO, UPMC, The Palumbo Charitable Trust and The Jack Buncher Foundation are the premier sponsors of this year’s event.
Winter Games began with Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, February 12 at in Central Park, in the heart of Downtown Johnstown. The Opening featured an array of athlete speakers and commenced with the official the lighting of the Olympic Torch.
Skiers Benjamin Mayes (left) and Dustin Carver (center) get high fives from their coach, Brian Segel, on Monday, February 13th at Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort.
Anthony Fischetti Wins GEICO Spirit Award
Lycoming County athlete Anthony Fischetti (at center), winner of the GEICO Spirit Award at the 2012 Winter Games, was nominated by coaches Lester Loner and Ginny Boyles.
Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) announced that Anthony Fischetti, a Lycoming County program athlete, received the GEICO Spirit Award during the 2012 Winter Games in Johnstown, PA. The GEICO Award acknowledges the outstanding energy, determination and enthusiasm that it takes for an athlete to get to the Winter Games.
Anthony, a snowshoeing athlete, was recognized for the tremendous effort, sportsmanship and joy he has demonstrated in the Lycoming County program. He has been involved in snowshoeing for the past six years and has been dedicated to the sport, attending every practice and putting forth his best effort at all times. Anthony has been a positive influence on the program through his encouragement of fellow athletes and ability to make people laugh with his sense of humor. Hard work and determination during training made him well prepared to compete at the 2012 Winter Games.