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      Winter Special Olympics kicks off in Marquette

      On Friday, the Upper Peninsula Special Olympic alpine skiers competed at Marquette Mountain.

      Ten skiers were timed on the downhill course. Members of the Northern Michigan University (NMU) Dance Team cheered for the Olympians as they made their way down the hill. Thirty NMU students also volunteered for Friday's event.

      For the past month, the athletes put in eight hours of training.

      "Normally, skiing would be something that they wouldn't be able to do. It takes some equipment purchase this way they're able to get outside, enjoy the snow finally and be active," said Bruce Miller, ski coach.

      Opening ceremonies will be held at the Superior Dome, this Saturday, at 9 a.m.

      Around 120 athletes are expected to participate in the 26th Annual Winter Games.