The 47th annual Special Olympics Maine Winter Games are arriving at Sugarloaf on Sunday and are expected to bring 450 athletes to the ski mountain over three days.

The 2016 Winter Games begin Sunday night, with the games starting early Monday and ending with a closing ceremony on Tuesday, Special Olympics Maine spokeswoman Lisa Bird said. Competition events will include Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, snowshoeing, speed skating and dual ski.

Hundreds of athletes from 64 teams across Maine will arrive Sunday at Sugarloaf to kick off the Winter Games with one of Maine’s largest community suppers, Bird said. Residents of the Carrabassett Valley area will host the dinner, bringing enough casseroles and desserts to serve 800 people. Outdoor skating, hot chocolate, karaoke and sing-alongs will follow the dinner Sunday night.

On Monday, the sporting events will begin at 8 a.m. From 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., alpine skiers will compete in giant slalom time trials, regular slalom trials, and dual ski trials. The morning group for Nordic cross country skiing also will compete, along with four snowshoeing groups. Speed skating trials will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday as well.

At noon Monday the winter games opening ceremony will take place, featuring a parade of athletes that will include all game participants.

After the parade, finals of the giant slaloms and regular slaloms will be held, along with the alpine skiing Super G trials. Finals in speed skating will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On Tuesday the games wrap up from 8 to 11:30 a.m., with slalom, Super G, Nordic cross country and snowshoeing finals.

The closing ceremonies will take place at the base lodge at noon Tuesday.

The Special Olympics is an athletic training and competition programs for adults and children with disabilities. Special Olympics Maine has more than 400 athletes involved in its program which hosts more than 60 events year-round.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate


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