KILLINGTON, Vt. – The Vermont Special Olympic State Winter Games were held March 17-19 at Pico Mountain. The Fall Mountain Special Olympic team brought four alpine skiers, four snowboarders, and four snowshoe racers to the games. The team participated in the opening ceremony Sunday, March 17 to great fanfare with a large cheering crowd to welcome each team into the venue. The Vermont State Police represented the color guard and the Olympic torch was skied down the mountain.
The competition began Monday, March 18 with the qualifying heats for the snowshoe racers and the divisioning runs for the skiers and boarders. Monday afternoon was the first racing event for all athletes. On Tuesday, March 19 the athletes competed in their last two races.
Each athlete is broken into divisions based on their practice times. The qualifying heats ensure that the athletes are in the correct placement and the divisions are then tweaked for the actual races. This enables the athletes to be placed with competitors who are at the same ability, which made for some very exciting racing.
The FMSO team had two spectacular days on the mountain. The weather was cool and crisp with a biting wind but the sun was shining, making it a perfect Vermont day.
The snowshoe teams final results were the following: Sean Anderson took home silver in the 200-meter, bronze in the 100-meter, and fifth place in the 50-meter. Jacob Barboza snared the bronze in the 200-meter, bronze in the 100-meter, and sixth place in the 50-meter. Dalton Hutchinson won the silver in the 200-meter, sixth in the 100-meter, and silver in the 50-meter. Olivia Rounds finished the group with bronze in the 100-meter, fourth in the 50-meter, and bronze in the 25-meter.
As for the skiers, Patrick Cannon scored fifth, sixth, and seventh place respectively. Mariah Pratt suffered a terrible fall during her race Monday to come in eighth place, but she won redemption Tuesday with scoring not one but two gold medals! Caitlin Masure had a great two days taking home a gold and two silver medals. Rachel Maxim had a stellar showing with three golds for her races.
The snowboarders also had a great showing with Bonnie Kyle taking home gold, silver, and bronze. James Morse won silver and bronze for his events. Russell Putnam scored three fourth-place finishes, and Kyle Simpson rounded out the team with three bronze medals.
Team Captain Scott Kyle said, “All the competition was really fast and the divisions were evenly matched. All our FMSO athletes really stepped up and worked hard and they all did a commendable job.”
The FMSO team now moves to the spring season where they offer swimming, bocce, and track and field.