For 50 years, Special Olympics has been working to build inclusive communities where children and adults with intellectual disabilities are valued and respected. The best way to do that, the organization believes, is through sports. In the winter, Special Olympics Vermont trains athletes in alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. This year, that training will culminate at the 2018 Winter Games, held on March 18-21 at Pico Mountain. As of October, the Vermont organization also has a new CEO: former Vermont gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter. She’s a former competitive figure skater, Ultimate Frisbee player and diehard backcountry skier.
The programs at Special Olympics run on volunteer power. Volunteers who are interested in a longer commitment may choose to coach or become Unified partners in one of the 13 sports offered throughout the year. One-day volunteers are also regularly recruited to help with competitions and events including the Penguin Plunge February 3 in Burlington, and the Winter Games March 18-21 at Pico Mountain. For more information about volunteer opportunities and to get involved, please visit specialolympicsvermont.org
Click on one of the following links to read more about the organizations in Vermont that get skiers and riders who face challenges of many kinds, out on the mountain. Or, click here to read about the impact one organization had on a participant.