State Winter Games
Approximately 900 athletes, 350 coaches/chaperones & 500 volunteers participate every year. Events include Alpine Skiing (slalom, giant slalom and downhill), Snowboarding (slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom), Cross-Country Skiing (50M, 100M, 250M, 500M, 1K, 3K and 5K), Snowshoeing (30M, 50M, 75M, 100M, 200M and 400M), Figure Skating (compulsory and freestyle) and Speed Skating (25M, 30M, 50M, 100M, 300M, 500M and 800M). Venues include Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, and Howe Ice Arena at the Grand Traverse Civic Center.
Special Olympics: A Special Community
By: Jim Joque
A series of events that pull a community together are the Winter Special Olympics snowshoeing races. It warms the heart to share in the enjoyment of competitive winter sports for people who have intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization that spans the globe as participant with disabilities of all ages compete in roughly 30 Olympic summer and winter sports. There are some 3.5 million Special Olympians worldwide. Snowshoeing is one of several competitive sports in the winter Special Olympics at the regional, national and international event levels.
The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games are scheduled to take place in Pyeongchang, Korea. They anticipate more than 2,500 athletes from 105 nations coming together to compete in alpine and cross-country skiing, figure and speed skating, snowboarding, floor hockey and snowshoe racing. Now that's a huge community. Timothy Shriver, Special Olympic International CEO stated that "Special Olympic World Winter Games provide a global state for our athletes to showcase their talents and we invite the world to join our world of welcome - a world of inclusion and mutual respect, without bias or prejudice."
In the USA, Special Olympics winter games are held in various states and many events include snowshoe racing. My nephew Michael competes in Michigan Special Olympics downhill skiing and has taken the gold on occasion. His family and community members share in the excitement at these events. Someday, I hope Michael will take up snowshoe racing and take gold in that event.
Click here to view Jim's article on the Snowshoe Magazine website.
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