The Games Must Go On –2018 Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games Kick Off

February 28, 2018
A Caucus Event 2018-02-24 Witkos Kissel Special Olympics (11 of 52)

Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) and Senator Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) greet the crowd at the opening ceremony for the 2018 Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games.

By: Senator John A. Kissel

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremonies and parade of athletes for the 2018 Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics Connecticut and approximately 1,000 athletes participated in this year’s Winter Games.  These athletes were joined by their coaches, family members, volunteers, sponsors and many spectators.

While Mother Nature tried to cause some problems by melting snow, volunteers were ready and making last minute changes to accommodate the athletes to enable them to compete in as many events as they were capable, as there are events for ability levels.

The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This year the Connecticut Winter Games included cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the Windsor facility. Additionally, figure skating, speed skating, unified floor hockey, gymnastics, alpine skiing and snowboarding were held at different locations throughout the state.

The dedication of all of these athletes is truly remarkable – the Special Olympics has really transformed so many lives by promoting good health and inspiring inclusion and respect for everyone on and off the field of competition.

I was also honored to join my legislative colleague Senator Kevin Witkos from Canton in support of these Special Olympics Winter athletes.

Thinking of the long hours many of these athletes devote to training is inspiring and I wish them all the best in the future.

To me it is important to provide a place for everyone to compete and learn the responsibility that comes along with being a competitive athlete – no matter which sport they choose.