The practice and time trials for the Winter Special Olympics at Lost Trail Ski Area were completed Tuesday, January 28. Wednesday is a full day of competition with award ceremonies and lots of smiles. Director Randy Hodgson (see photo below) and the 100 volunteers got the athletes to the starting lines and, more importantly, to the finish lines in snowshoe, downhill, snowboard and cross-country contests. After that was done, the Grand Entry, with the Olympic theme accompanying the teams as they paraded in front of the ski lodge. Stevensville Post 91 presented the colors and flags were brought down the hill by skiers. Hodgson said there were a few more teams this year at the event, which is in its 39th year. Tuesday evening, the competitors and their supporters had a banquet and dance at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton.

Director Randy Hodgson at the opening ceremony. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)