Members of the Particular Olympics ski and snowshoe groups waited Wednesday, March 15, contained in the Howelsen Hill Lodge for an opportunity to hitch their teammates in a photograph and rejoice somebody who wasn’t there.
“We had a mission this 12 months,” 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 feel we represented her nicely.”
Moore additionally stated this 12 months was particular for the athletes who participated in this system, dedicating their efforts to their former teammate who died in August 2022. White’s ardour for snowboarding put her within the highlight after she obtained the prospect to to compete in alpine snowboarding. snowboarding occasions on the 2017 Particular Olympics World Winter Video games in Austria, the place Moore was her coach.
White was top-of-mind this 12 months as a gaggle of 16 athletes competed within the regional video games in Glenwood Springs in February, and 13 athletes from that group moved on to Copper Mountain for the Colorado State Winter Video games this month, which included an athlete parade, boiler lighting, torchlight parade and fireworks, along with the races themselves
Earlier this month, the alpine and snowshoe groups traveled from Steamboat Springs to Copper Mountain the place they competed on the Particular Olympic Colorado Winter Video games with different athletes from across the state.
Athlete Heidi Brumleve stated her buddy’s spirit reached far past the Colorado State Winter Video games and was felt this season throughout observe and on the regional video games at Argonaut Farms in Glenwood Springs, the place Brumleve received gold within the 200- and 400-meter dashes and was a part of the crew that received silver within the 4×100 relay.
Brumleve was unable to journey to Copper Mountain, however she was satisfied that Sue White’s spirit might be felt there as nicely.
“The Olympics are nice,” Brumleve stated of the applications. “I actually loved Sue White wanting down on me and I actually miss her.”
Moore stated the passion and power White dropped at the game fueled the athletes this winter and that White’s reminiscence made this 12 months much more particular for individuals who took to the park.
Moore, who has coached for 20 years, stated the alpine program meets on Sundays at Steamboat Resort about six occasions through the winter. He stated this system companions with STARS and has turn out to be a fixture in Steamboat.
The alpine ski crew included Scott Bjorgum, who introduced dwelling gold within the intermediate slalom and slalom races and silver within the super-G; Drew Boglioli, who received gold within the superior large slalom, and silver in super-G and slalom; Taryn Emerson, who earned silver in newbie slalom, large slalom and super-G; Misty Garcia, who received gold in novice super-G and slalom, and silver in large slalom; Rhianna Gifford, who received gold within the intermediate slalom and large slalom, and silver within the super-G; Ian Horning, who received gold within the intermediate slalom and bronze within the slalom; Logan McLaughlin, who received gold within the intermediate slalom and bronze within the large slalom; Amy Pascetti, who received gold in novice super-G and intermediate large slalom, and silver in slalom; and Nevaeh Smith, who completed with gold in newbie slalom and large slalom and silver in super-G. Matthew Troeger competed with the crew on the Daylight regionals in snowboard occasions, inserting first in slalom and second in large slalom, however didn’t make the journey to Copper Mountain.
“I like to ski like with my mates and I like to journey on the gates,” stated Horning, who competed in his first Particular Olympics. “It is nice to be with all of your family and friends members.”
Horn’s teammate Logan McLaughlin agreed.
“I like to ski and I like the Particular Olympics,” stated McLaughlin, who has participated 4 occasions. “I like my teammates, I like (coach) Tommy and I like snowboarding.”
The snowshoe crew entered its second 12 months with 4 athletes competing, together with Jeffery Dockstader, who positioned second within the 100-meter sprint; Jamie Kaminski, who earned first within the 100 and 200; Donald Pearce, who received bronze within the 200 and 400; and Jaimee Purcell-Sexton, who received silver within the 100 and 200.
The 4 Steamboat snowshoes on the Colorado State Video games mixed efforts to put third within the 4×100 relay. Jeffery Turner, who took gold within the 200 and third within the 400, additionally could not journey to Copper Mountain for the Colorado State Video games, although he was a part of the silver medal-winning relay crew on the regionals.
The crew was coached by Aimee Jenkins, Susan White and Sarah-Grace Jordan, who’re employed by Horizons Specialised Companies.
“We’ve got three guidelines, have enjoyable, attempt onerous and have enjoyable. If you happen to’re not having enjoyable, we’ve got to speak about it. If you happen to’re not attempting too onerous, we speak about it,” Jenkins stated. “However we’ll at all times have enjoyable and check out onerous and we will certainly have enjoyable.”
Coach White stated that being a part of the crew doesn’t essentially imply that the athlete has to take part in Particular Olympics, as it’s their alternative.
“We began as Horizons Journey Membership and we’re constructing from that,” Jenkins stated. “Sure athletes select to take part in Particular Olympics from the Horizons Journey Membership, and this 12 months we had six at regionals and 4 at state.”
Each the alpine and snowshoe applications run all through the winter with athletes assembly for coaching and looking out ahead to the state video games on the finish of the 12 months. Along with the coaching, the applications embody warm-up, diet and different vital classes for the athletes.
However on the finish of the day, this program is about greater than sports activities.
“That is far more than snowboarding,” Moore stated. “That is past the snow, it is simply timeless friendships, the camaraderie between every of the athletes’ state has at all times been one of many greatest occasions that these guys all look ahead to, and most of those athletes from across the state do not see one another in a complete 12 months till we meet at state.”
John F. Russell is a enterprise reporter at Steamboat Pilot & As we speak. To succeed in him, name 970-871-4209, electronic mail jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or observe him on Twitter @Framp1966.