Special Olympics Vermont continues to grow, organizers tell us they had to move locations from Suicide Six to Pico Mountain.
“I am seeing the power of sports in a way that is so important and so moving where… We see it not only changes lives it changes our understanding of what’s possible,” said Sue Minter. Minter is the President and CEO of Special Olympics Vermont.
Minter is blown away by the commitment of the athletes and volunteers. On Sunday night, she tells us they lit the touch. Signaling the start of the winter games.
“It’s the eternal flame of-of hope. This is something that happens around the globe, of course, we all love the Olympics,” said Minter.
This year marks 50 years of Special Olympics across the globe. Here in Vermont, nearly 300 athletes will take park in winter sporting events.
Including Sean Fahey, he is from Middlebury, Vermont. Fahey spent Monday competing in snowshoe racing.
“I just won two high-end qualifiers, both times in the top three,” said Fahey.
He tells us, this is his seventh year participating in Special Olympics. His love of sports and support from his mother keep him coming back year after year.
“I am ready to get out tomorrow (Tuesday) and do it again, and send my team to a six and zero relay record,” said Fahey.
Fahey describes himself as a competitive person, but off the course, he will be your best friend.
“You could be from Austrailia and I could still consider you family. That is the best thing about Special Olympics, no matter what the event, it’s family all over,” said Fahey.
This includes Northeast Kingdom Native, Tristian Geoffery. He is lives in Newport, Vermont and grew up on the slopes of Jay Peak.
“My mother Kim, she is always there for me. I have been doing it since I was nine years old,” said Geoffery.
Special Olympics have taught him many life lessons, including sportsmanship.
“Today I did my best. But it’s hard at first. But who cares, I did my best, and anyone can do it,” said Geoffery.
These events are made possible by many sponsors and donations. Minter tells us these winter games cost around $100,000.00 and is staffed by 150 volunteers.
If you like more information on Special Olympics Vermont, you can find more here.