The Special Olympics US national team traveled to Vermont last week to train for the 2017 World Winter Games that take place in Austria in March. 150 athletes and an additional 60 coaches and management team members from all across the country gathered in Killington on Monday where they were fitted for their team uniforms and took their headshots. Finish Line was also on-site to fit each team member for their new boots.
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Tuesday marked the first day of practice for Special Olympics USA. They practiced in their seven respective sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowboarding, snowshoeing and speed skating.
Despite the frigid temperatures and blustery winds, the cross-country skiers and snowshoers proved to be lightning fast in the snow at Killington Grand Resort. Also unfazed by the conditions were the alpine skiers and snowboarders, who were repeatedly overheard asking for “one more run!”
The speed skaters raced around Spartan Arena in Rutland, Vt., where they shared ice time with the Special Olympics USA figure skaters who gracefully practiced their routines.
Meanwhile, the Special Olympics USA floor hockey teams from Southern California and New York got a chance to scrimmage against the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams from Castleton University.
All the athletes returned to their home states on Friday with a new focus and a detailed plan on how to condition with their local coaches.
Thank you to Special Olympics Vermont, Special Olympics New York, Killington Grand Resort and Castleton University for helping to make everything run so smoothly all week. Thank you also to Bank of America, ESPN, Finish Line, Burton and Champion for their support of the national team.
For photos from training camp check out the Special Olympics USA Flickr page.