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Washington, D.C.— U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Tom Harkin and their staffs donned blue and white scarves in the Capitol today in celebration of the Special Olympics World Winter Games set to begin in Idaho this weekend.

The scarves were handmade by volunteers as part of a two-year project to provide each participant in the games with a gift. Organizers initial goal of 5,000 was quickly surpassed as more than 50,000 scarves from all 50 states and around the world poured in.

"These scarves are representative of the countless hours the participants, organizers and volunteers put in leading up to these Games," said Risch. "I applaud them each for their efforts and encourage other Idahoans to join in welcoming the Special Olympics to our state."

"The Special Olympics offer individuals with disabilities the chance to compete, excel and believe in themselves," said Harkin. "These scarves will help draw attention to the wonderful work done by the Special Olympics, and showcase the spirit of the Games to the world."

Senators Risch and Harkin, who both plan to be in Idaho this weekend, are also distributing scarves to visitors of their Washington, D.C. offices in recognition of the Idaho Games.