Left to right in picture: NSCD volunteer Marco Leonardi, NSCD intern Amaris Hornbuckle, athlete Caleb Kissler, head coach Jen Gold, NSCD intern Siera Becker Photo and story provided by Darcy Kissler
Ten (10) athletes from the Grand County Blizzards (NSCD’s Special Olympics Alpine Team) competed in the State Special Olympics last weekend at Copper Mountain. Jen Gold, National Sports Center for the Disabled head coach said, “We had lots of success at the state competition due to the hard work and dedication of the athletes, parents, volunteers, and coaches.”
Over 200 athletes competed in this year’s competition – 2020 State Winter Games were hosted at Copper Mountain. The two day event included races, torchlight parade, ski down, dinner and dance.
The NSCD Special Olympics program consists of 5 practices at Winter Park through NSCD where athletes are paired with volunteers and practice running slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom race courses. Then they compete in a regional competition and then finally the State competition.
Gold said they had three sit skiers and seven standing skiers and Hayley Reichert brought home a gold medal in all three events GS, Super G and Slalom. Caleb Kissler also brought home a silver medal for the NSCD team in the Advanced Level Giant Slalom event. “It has been amazing to watch the athletes progress over the season. For some this was their first time skiing and they finished at State with a gold medal! It was great to see their self confidence flourish through training and bonding with their teammates.”