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Originally published: 2014-02-24 15:21:07
Last modified: 2014-02-24 15:21:52

Watauga Special Olympians medal

by Jeff Eason

More than 150 Special Olympics athletes from the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina competed in the 2014 Special Olympics Southeast Winter Games -- Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding Feb. 2-4 hosted by the French Swiss Ski College at Appalachian Ski Mountain.

To ensure fair competition, the athletes were placed in competition divisions based on age, gender and ability level. 

Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top three finishers in each division, and ribbons were presented for fourth through eighth place. 

"The 2014 Special Olympics Southeast Winter Games -- Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding was a wonderful competition in for all the athletes,"  Special Olympics North Carolina President and CEO Keith L. Fishburne said.

 "The athletes demonstrated their talents and amazed and inspired everyone who witnessed their performances on the wintry slopes," he said. "Our thanks go out to all the dedicated volunteers who made this event such a memorable one."

Eight local Special Olympics North Carolina programs participated, including Buncombe, Cleveland, Davie, Johnston, Lee, Mecklenburg, Orange, Wake and Watauga. 

Athletes from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina also competed. 

Special Olympians from Watauga County who competed in the Winter Alpine Games included Caitlin Bray, who won a gold medal in alpine skiing and a fourth place ribbon in alpine skiing; Justin Cordini, who won a gold medal in snowboarding; Ricky Corley, who won a fourth place ribbon in alpine skiing and a gold medal in alpine skiing; and Clint Miller, who won a bronze medal in alpine skiing and a fifth place ribbon in alpine skiing.

Students from Appalachian State University served as volunteers for the games, both during the competition and at the awards ceremonies. 

Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels. 

For more information, visit Special Olympics North Carolina at http://www.specialolympicsnc.com.