Despite cold weather, Special Olympics Winter Games continues - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Despite cold weather, Special Olympics Winter Games continues

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Brutal weather isn't putting a damper on this year's Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games. 

"It is awesome! I don't let anything get me down," said athlete Tracy Long.

Nearly 400 athletes and 300 volunteers have embarked to Dubuque to take part in the 30th annual event for those with intellectual disabilities. This year,  they're dealing with single digit weather.

Organizers say they've taken measures to make sure athletes are safe and warm. "We get their snowshoes on, get them out on the course as quickly as we can. Get them, rac(ing), run and back inside as quickly as possible, so they're not out there standing around," said Nancy Shannon, area director for the Special Olympics.

With the wind chill below zero, the athletes were also given hand and foot warmers, so they can  somewhat stay warm.

"It's really cold today Bill, tell me did that bother you at all?" KWWL's Shirley Descorbeth asked athlete Bill Lutz.

"Nope...it didn't bother me at all...I was bundled up," he said.

The frigid temperatures not affecting anyone's enthusiasm.

"I'm having fun seeing new teammates," said athlete Keen Harvey.

The winter games also took place at Sundown Mountain and Mystique Community Ice Center.

Athletes competed in snowshoeing, skiing and skating. 

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