WAUSAU (WAOW)--A fresh coat of snow was a welcome sight for more than 200 athletes in the Wausau-area this Saturday morning. Nine Mile Forest hosted the Special Olympics Winter Competition where athletes battled it out in snowshoe races and cross country skiing.
An alpine and snowboarding competition was also held at Granite Peak.
Although athletes compete for medals in the two-day event, organizers say it's about so much more.
"This is probably the truest example of sport that you'll run into. These are athletes that are out here with no agenda, just the love of sport," said Bob Whitehead, event director.
Over 100 volunteers donate their time each day to make the event a success. Second-year competitor Tim Vinje said he loves coming to compete. "Someday in the future I want to be a Special Olympics star," he said.
Another feature of this year's competition: scarves. Organizers had over 1,000 of the winter accessory hand-knit and crocheted by community volunteers to help unify athletes, coaches and volunteers.
Athletes and organizers agreed that extra touch made this years event even more valuable. The finals in snowshoe racing and cross country skiing wrap up Sunday at Nine Mile Forest in Wausau.