KILLINGTON, Vt. – The Fall Mountain Special Olympics team participated in the Vermont State Winter Olympic Games from March 18 through March 20. The team had 14 athletes who participated in snowshoe racing, snowboarding, and downhill skiing.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics. This was the first year for Pico Mountain to host the Vermont State Games. The facility was top notch and provided a great experience for all athletes. The events started with the opening ceremonies, with all teams partaking in the parade of athletes. Sue Minter, the new president and CEO of Vermont Special Olympics, gave a welcoming speech to rally the teams. The Olympic torch was presented at the top of the mountain and skied down to light the cauldron. The Vermont State Police joined the ceremonies with an honor guard and singing of the National Anthem.
Monday was a beautiful sunny day for competition, however the fickle Vermont weather proved a challenge with a cold blustery wind and temperatures only in the low 20s. The teams mustered through time trials for all events to set the divisions for the races to begin in the afternoon and Tuesday.
Special Olympics provides competition based on all abilities; with this format all athletes have a chance to shine in their respective divisions. It is not unusual to have a range of ages in the divisions. Some will have adults and teenagers, some will be all adults, some will be younger athletes and older athletes.
FMSO had five snowshoers. Debra Hall and Olivia Rounds raced the 25,50, and 100 meters. Debra won silver in the first two races and then took home a fourth place in the 100. Olivia won bronze in the 25 meter, sixth in the 50 meter, and fifth in the 100 meter.
Sean Anderson, Jacob Barboza, and Dalton Hutchinson raced the 50, 100, and 200 meters. Sean came home with a bronze and two silvers. Jacob, in his first year snowshoeing for the team, brought home the bronze in the 50 and 200, and he won the gold in the 100. Dalton won silver in the 50, bronze in the 100, and fourth in the 200 events.
Alpine skiers had two fabulous days on the mountain racing in the slalom, giant slalom, and super G. Patrick Cannon took home fourth, bronze, and fifth. Rachel Maxim scored the silver, bronze, and bronze. Caitlin Masure took home fifth place in all three events. Mariah Pratt took the silver, bronze, and bronze. Carroll Tenney won bronze, gold, and bronze.
The snowboard team also raced the slalom, giant slalom, and super G. Athlete James Morse took fourth, silver, and silver. Kyle Simpson scored bronze, bronze, and silver.
Bonnie Kyle raced the slalom and took home bronze, but unfortunately was sidelined the rest of the weekend due to injury. Russell Putnam scored fourth place on his only event, the slalom.
The FMSO team now moves on to its spring schedule. They offer swimming, track and field and bocce. The next competition will be the Upper Valley Regional Games in Lebanon, N.H. on May 5.
If you are interested in joining the FMSO team as an athlete or volunteer, please contact Scott and Maggie Kyle at 603-445-2323.