KALISPELL, Mont. — Special Olympics Montana has canceled its 2018 State Winter Games in Whitefish and plans to instead hold regional winter sports competitions that require less travel and allow more athletes to compete.

President and CEO Bob Norbie tells the Flathead Beacon that fewer teams had been traveling to the state winter games due to the distance and winter traveling conditions, while the number of athletes competing in Special Olympics has increased.

In 2011, Special Olympics Montana served 1,850 athletes with the goal of serving 3,000 athletes by 2020. They reached their goal last year.

Special Olympics Montana also hopes to work with the Montana High School Association to promote school sanctioned Unified Sports, which allow students with and without intellectual disabilities to compete on the same team.

Information from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com

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