Over 300 Iowans are taking part in the Special Olympics Winter Games through Thursday in Dubuque. Special Olympics spokesman Chuck Reed says the games are important to the mentally-handicapped participants.He says they stay overnight in Dubuque and have a pizza party and banquet. He says it’s something many of the participants don’t get to experience often — being away from their homes. This is the 18th annual winter games, which are a companion to the annual summer games held in Ames. He says it gives them a chance to try some of the things they’ve seen on tv during the Winter Olympics. Reed says there are a variety of events.They have figure skating, speed skating, downhill skiing, cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Reed says the lack of snow won’t hamper the events, as the Sundown Ski area where they’re holding the outdoor events can make snow. He says it was a little unusual when he got into town Monday to prepare for the arrival of the participants.He says on the left hand side of the street there isn’t any snow, but on the right hand side there’s artificial snow.Reed says this will be one of the biggest winter games ever for the number of athletes participating.
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