Helping Special Olympians
Nothing compares to being able to participate in The Olympics, and the experience is no different for participants in the Special Olympics.
On Jan. 25 and 26, athletes from all over came to Perfect North in Lawrenceburg, Indiana to compete. KHS junior Erik Pedersen got the opportunity to volunteer for the event.
“I was a ski partner,” Erik said. “Our job is to ski down the slope with them while encouraging them and telling them what to do.”
Athletes ranged from participants with Down Syndrome to participants who were blind or deaf, Pedersen said.
“I was partnered with a girl with down syndrome named Shelby,” he said. “She was really sweet and fun to work with.”
Over the course of two days, the athletes competed in different events.
“The first day we warmed them up and did time trials,” Pedersen said. “The second day they competed in heats and placed for medals. It’s run just like the actual Olympics which is pretty cool.”
Pedersen’s partner, Shelby, has been competing in The Special Olympics for three years now.
“She won gold in both of her events which is the best she’s ever done,” Pedersen said. “She was just going out there to have fun which was nice to see. There was no pressure.”
For Pedersen, it’s an experience he’ll never forget. “I’ve been a member of [Kings] Ski Club for six years now. I was honored to have gotten the opportunity to volunteer.”
By Alex MacNeil