The 2016 Special Olympics New Jersey Winter Games kicked off its multi-day competition with the opening ceremony at Mountain Creek on Monday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. These Olympics lasted through the early afternoon on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
The Opening Ceremony began on Monday night behind the Red Tail Lodge at Mountain Creek in Vernon, N.J. Spectators were invited to watch as the Flame of Hope was carried down the slope to light the Special Olympics New Jersey cauldron at the base of the mountain.
"We’re honored to once again host this incredible event. For more than 30 years, the Special Olympics has been a highlight of our season, and Monday’s opening ceremonies and fireworks (were) a special event this year, as we celebrate Vernon Winter Carnival during our 50th Anniversary season," said Bill Benneyan, president of Mountain Creek. "We wish the best of luck to all the Olympians."
Over the course of the two-day event, nearly 300 athletes competed in alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing at Mountain Creek, and speed skating, held at Skylands Ice World in Stockholm, N.J.
The Special Olympics New Jersey Winter Games is the culminating event for the winter season of sports, and those who qualified to compete spent the last eight or more weeks training and competing at the local level.
About Mountain Creek
Located in Vernon, N.J., Mountain Creek is the tri-state area’s premiere destination for four-season recreational fun. Just 47 miles from the George Washington Bridge, Mountain Creek is easily accessible for New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania residents looking for a world-class resort experience without the hassle of traveling far from home. In the winter, Mountain Creek offers over 167 acres of skiable terrain across four inter-connected peaks with 100 percent night skiing and the region’s highest vertical at 1,040 feet. It is also home to one of the area’s largest snow tubing zones.
Mountain Creek provides on-site overnight accommodations at the Appalachian Hotel, which offers spacious slope-style accommodations right at the base of the mountain, and Black Creek Sanctuary, a cozy gated townhome community nestled among lush foliage and only a two-minute drive to the slopes.