Lack of snow cancels some Special Olympics events - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Lack of snow cancels some Special Olympics events

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

The lack of snow -- has forced the Special Olympics to cancel two events this winter. Both cross country skiing and snow-shoeing will not happen this year.

At Granite Peak, there's no lack of snow. But over at Nine Mile Forest, it's a completely different story.

That's why some Special Olympics events scheduled for this weekend will not happen. 

"It's fun," Special Olympics athlete Brian Krause told Newsline 9.

Krause has been competing in the Special Olympics for the past eight years. His event is cross country skiing.

"I like doing it," Krause.

But this year -- Mother Nature put a halt on what he loves to do.

"We don't have any snow," Krause said.

Last year that wasn't the case.

Hundreds of athletes headed to Nine Mile Forest for the snow-shoe and cross country events.

 "The athletes train across the state to take part in these events and this is really where they get to show what they've been able to accomplish," Jerry Lyon, Special Olympics Regional Director said.

But this year, instead of excited athletes, all that can be found at Nine Mile is ice.

"There's no snow out there, there's just a dusting of snow. And the major concern is there's about two inches of ice covering just about the entire park," Lyon said.

That had Special Olympics leaders worried about holding events there.

"Difficult decision to make, but we felt with the safety concerns that we had we felt this was the best decision to make," Lyon said.

Organizers say the games are about much more than just winning.

 "The medals and ribbons are great too, but it's more about the comrade with the other athletes and the sense of accomplishment that they have," Lyon said.

And Brian Krause agrees.

 "Being with my friends," Krause said.

"This is kind of the time for them to get out in front of the community, their friends and family and really show what they can do," Lyon told Newsline 9.

Events leaders say more than two hundred athletes were signed up to compete at nine mile. They say they're just hoping for better winter weather next year.

At Granite Peak, events will go on as planned. On Saturday, athletes will compete in alpine skiing and snowboarding.

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