On Wednesday, March 15, members of the Particular Olympics ski and snowshoe groups waited on the Howellsen Hill Home for an opportunity to affix their teammates in a photograph and have fun somebody who wasn’t there.
“We had a mission this yr,” coach Tommy Moore stated. “We skied for Sue White. Everybody knew Sue. She was the matriarch of this crew and that was our mission that we set for this season and I believe we represented her effectively.”
Moore additionally stated this yr was a particular one for the athletes who participated in this system, and so they devoted their efforts to their former teammate, who handed away in August 2022. White’s ardour for snowboarding introduced her into the highlight after she was given the chance to compete in alpine snowboarding. ski competitors on the 2017 Particular Olympics World Winter Video games in Austria, the place Moore was her coach.
White was the most well-liked this yr when a gaggle of 16 athletes competed on the regional video games in Glenwood Springs in February, and 13 athletes from that group traveled to Copper Mountain for the Colorado State Winter Video games this month, together with a parade athlete, lighting cauldron, torchlight parade and fireworks, along with the races themselves
Earlier this month, the alpine and snowshoe groups from Steamboat Springs traveled to Copper Mountain, the place they competed on the Particular Olympics Colorado Winter Video games in opposition to different athletes from across the state.
Athlete Heidi Brumleve stated her pal’s spirit prolonged far past the Colorado Winter Video games and could possibly be felt this season throughout practices and at regionals at Argonaut Farms in Glenwood Springs, the place Brumleve took gold within the 200 and 400. meters and was a part of the crew that gained silver within the 4×100 relay.
Brumlev wasn’t in a position to go to Copper Mountain, however she was positive that Sue White’s spirit was felt there as effectively.
“The Olympics are superior,” Brumlewe stated of the packages. “I actually appreciated Sue White wanting down on me and I miss her lots.”
Moore stated the passion and power White dropped at the game fueled the athletes this winter, and that White’s reminiscence made this yr much more particular for many who embraced the park.
Moore, who has coached for 20 years, stated the Alpine program met on Sundays at Steamboat Resort about six occasions throughout the winter. He stated this system has partnered with STARS and has grow to be a everlasting a part of Steamboat.
The ski crew included Scott Björgum, who introduced house gold within the intermediate large slalom and slalom and silver within the tremendous large; Drew Baglioli, who gained gold within the superior large slalom and silver within the tremendous large and slalom; Taryn Emerson, who gained silver in novice slalom, large slalom and tremendous large slalom; Misty Garcia, who gained gold in novice super-G and slalom, and silver in large slalom; Rihanna Gifford, who gained gold within the intermediate and large slalom and silver within the super-G; Ian Horning, who gained gold within the intermediate slalom and bronze within the slalom; Logan McLaughlin, who gained gold within the intermediate slalom and bronze within the large slalom; Amy Paschetti, who gained gold in novice super-G and intermediate large slalom, and silver in slalom; and Nevaeh Smith, who gained gold within the novice slalom and large and silver within the tremendous large. Matthew Troger competed with the crew on the Daylight Regionals in snowboarding, inserting first within the slalom and second within the large slalom, however didn’t go to Copper Mountain.
“I wish to ski with my pals and I wish to make targets,” stated Horning, who was competing in his first Particular Olympics. “It is a blast with all of the family and friends.”
Horning’s teammate Logan McLaughlin agreed.
“I like snowboarding and I like the Particular Olympics,” stated McLaughlin, a four-time skier. “I like my teammates, I like (coach) Tommy and I like snowboarding.”
The snowshoe crew started its second yr with 4 athletes, together with Jeffrey Dockstader, who positioned second within the 100-meter sprint; Jamie Kaminsky, who earned first place within the 100 and 200; Donald Pierce, who earned bronze within the 200 and 400; and Jamie Purcell-Sexton, who earned silver within the 100 and 200.
4 Steamboat snowshoers on the Colorado State Video games mixed to complete third within the 4×100 relay. Jeffrey Turner, who took gold within the 200 and third within the 400, was additionally unable to journey to Copper Mountain for the Colorado State Video games, though he was a part of the relay crew that gained a silver medal at regionals.
The crew was coached by Aimee Jenkins, Susan White and Sarah-Grace Jordan, who’s an worker of Horizons Specialised Providers.
“We now have three guidelines: have enjoyable, attempt arduous and have enjoyable. In case you’re not having enjoyable, we have to discuss it. In case you’re not attempting too arduous, we’ll discuss it,” Jenkins stated. “However we’re at all times going to have enjoyable and we will attempt, and we’re positively going to have enjoyable.”
Coach White stated being on the crew would not essentially imply an athlete has to take part in Particular Olympics, as that’s their selection.
“We began because the Horizons Journey Membership and we have been constructing from there,” Jenkins stated. “Some athletes select to compete within the Particular Olympics from the Horizons Journey Membership, and this yr we had six regionals and 4 state.”
The alpine and snowshoe program runs all through the winter and athletes collect to coach and sit up for the state video games on the finish of the yr. Along with coaching, the packages embrace warm-up, vitamin and different vital actions for athletes.
However on the finish of the day, this program is about extra than simply sports activities.
“It is much more than snowboarding,” Moore stated. “It isn’t snow, it is simply friendship eternally, the friendship between every of the state athletes has at all times been one of many greatest issues that each one these guys sit up for, and most of those athletes from all around the state do not see one another for an entire yr whereas we We won’t collect on the state occasion.
John F. Russell is a enterprise reporter for the Steamboat Pilot & Right this moment. To achieve him, name 970-871-4209, e mail jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or comply with him on Twitter @Framp1966.