2019 Minnesota Winter Games: Ply Hockey, Powerlifting and Skiing

From February 19th – March 10th, beat the heat with Minnesota’s Special Olympics Winter Games

Minnesota Winter Games

Beat the cold and experience the magic with us at Minnesota’s Special Olympics Winter Games. From the kickoff event on February 19th, 2019 until the final competition on March 10th, you will witness the dedication, perseverance, and determination displayed by Minnesota’s Special Olympic athletes.

The mission of Special Olympics Minnesota is to “offer children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Through Special Olympics’ athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.”

Special Olympics Minnesota offers 16 official state-level sports programs. Athletes involved in these programs are given the opportunity to “train, compete, and improve at the individual or team level.” They experience the many benefits of athletics including the sense of belonging and comradery that arises from being part of a team as well as the pride of individual accomplishment.

Athletes challenge themselves and are rewarded by gains in physical strength along with mental and emotional resiliency. They learn to measure their progress against their own previous best rather than comparing themselves to others.

Are you ready to be a part of this powerful experience? The upcoming Winter Games will showcase events in three exciting sports: alpine skiing, powerlifting, and poly hockey.

Alpine Skiing

This season’s Winter Games kicks off with the alpine skiing qualifier at Afton Alps in Hastings on February 10th. The tournament itself will take place at the same location on March 10th.

Alpine skiing has been a part of the Special Olympics since 1977, and today 9,785 athletes compete in the sport on a global level.

Alpine skiing event categories range from a beginner glide event to advanced downhill giant slalom, and slalom competitions. The glide event allows beginner athletes to build their skills and have a chance to train and compete in basic alpine skiing.

Once the basics have been mastered, athletes become eligible for the novice, intermediate, and advanced categories of competition.


Join us at the Stillwater High School on March 2nd for the Winter Games powerlifting competition. This sport is designed for participants ages 16 and up. It focuses on teaching athletes to break through both physical and mental barriers in pursuit of success. A powerlifting competition is just as much about showcasing mental strength as it is physical.

Powerlifting is broken down into five different events: squat, bench press, deadlift, Combination I (Bench Press and Deadlift) and Combination II (Bench Press, Deadlift and Squat). Athletes are grouped into divisions based on ability level, age, and gender.

Poly Hockey

Winter Games wouldn’t be complete without the ultimate of winter sports: hockey. The Special Olympics twist on traditional hockey consists of the familiar game being played indoors on a gymnasium floor.

Teams of six players compete over three 9-minute periods using plastic sticks and soft plastic pucks. Unlike other Special Olympics events, poly hockey teams are co-ed giving males and females a chance to compete together.

Catch the Winter Games poly hockey competition at the Stillwater High School on March 2nd and 3rd.

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