Special Olympics Winter Games kick off at Timber Ridge

GOBLES, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Timber Ridge Ski Area was the host for the 2014 Special Olympics Winter Games qualifying event Tuesday

The young athletes are striving to qualify for the state games which will be held February 4-7.

Newschannel 3's own Lourin Sprenger MC'd the event as almost 170 athletes got ready to take on the hill.

Events included downhill and giant slalom skiing and snowboarding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Thanks to the help of 50 coaches and 50 volunteers, these athletes were ready to take on the challenge and have a lot of fun along the way.

"The biggest thing to teach them is just to have the confidence in themselves and just try as hard as you can; it doesn't matter what the results are," explained Assistant Area Director Mike Bielski. "If you're out here trying as best you can, that's what's important to us."

Special olympics Michigan provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for almost 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.