Vernon’s Ryan Creelman races to one of his two cross-country skiing medals at the 2011 Special Olympics Provincial Winter Championships.

Vernon’s Ryan Creelman races to one of his two cross-country skiing medals at the 2011 Special Olympics Provincial Winter Championships.

Special Olympians ski to medals

Vernon Special Olympic skiers cut up the slopes and trails at the provincial winter games.

The snow sports events were held at Crystal Mountain and Telemark out of West Kelowna.

Ryan Creelman was the only cross-country skier and brought home a silver and bronze medal in the 1-km and 500-m race.

Three alpine ski racers competed as members of the Region 2 team in giant slalom, super G and slalom. Steven Linemayr took silver in slalom and a bronze in GS, while Colby Bell got bronze in the super G. Justin Sigal had three very good races but didn’t place on the podium.

“All our athletes did a great job and showed us that winning only comes second, the attempt and bravery to go there counts and inspires everyone,” remarks Britta Gretzmacher, alpine skiing head coach for Region 2 and Vernon.

The curling team under head coach Ken Laturnus went to Coquitlam and competed with 22 teams from all over B.C. and the Yukon. The team of Carol Lincoln, Alan Bifford, Dan Click, Brent Evans and Ernie Hamann made it to the bronze medal game but lost.

“Our four athletes and the spare went into this game very motivated and focused and despite the loss they inspired us with their sportsmanship. We all had an awesome time and lots of fun,”  said Laturnus.

Special Olympics BC Vernon provides sports program for individuals of all ages with intellectual disabilities. Over 100 athletes are enrolled in over 14 different sports who train and compete throughout the year. The society strives to enrich lives, and celebrates personal achievement through positive sport experiences.

Summer sports are starting in April and there is still room for athletes in soccer, track and field, softball, bowling and golf. If you know someone who is interested in joining or would like to volunteer, please go to the following website: www.sobcvernon.ca or call 250-503-0091.