Special Olympic Athletes Take to the Slope for Competition and Friendship.

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Friendship, teamwork, comradery and fun.

That was the feeling behind today’s Special Olympic ski and snowboard competition.

The Fort Wainright Birch Hill Ski and Snowboard area was sprinkled with Special Olympic athletes Saturday afternoon as the team warmed up for the race.

With weather in the teens Skiers and Snowboarders were jumping to get on the slope.

We talked with the snowboard coach, Travis Englund, about why the Special Olympics are so important to the community.

"It's a confidence builder. It's integration. It's getting to know a different side of your community,” Englud said. “I had doubts about putting my daughter in special Olympics, I won't lie, but once I got to be part of this community, there is no other community like it. It's just inclusion. I'm making friendships, they're getting mentors. I'm learning things from them and they are learning things from me."

The Skiers and Snowboarder competed in three runs Saturday and are expected to have a final Slalom run at noon on Sunday followed by an awards ceremony.