The wind was blowing snow flurries across the face of the mountain, but the opening day of the Bitterroot Winter Special Olympics was filled with early competition and smiles at Lost Trail Powder Mountain Tuesday, January 30. The 37th annual gathering gave the athletes time on the hill and some time trials in the afternoon to get ready for a full day tomorrow Wednesday.

Then, Shortly after 2 p.m., the Grand Entry began with theme music and the American Legion Post 94 bringing in the colors, followed by the host team, Corvallis. The rest of the teams followed, accompanied by hoots and hollering and applause. They lined up in front of the lodge and After some words from organizer Randy Hodgson, the teams departed for a banquet, dance and parents reception at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton and some swimming at the Inn's indoor pool.

Wednesday starts with breakfast at the Lost Trail Ski Area Lodge. X-Country starts at 9:30 a.m. leading to activities including Alpine ski, Alpine relay, Snowboard, downhill, snowshoe and fun with innertubes. Closing ceremonies are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Randy Hodgson had continuing praise and gratitude to all the volunteers and the Grasser Family, owners of Lost Trail Powder Mountain. The late Bill Grasser started the relationship with the second Bitterroot Special Winter Olympics 36 years agp.

So, for the full day competition, we remind the teams of their lion's theme - Be Fierce, Be Proud, Be Pawsitive!"

The snowy day at Lost Trail didn't bother the horse-drawn sleigh rides. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)