Special Olympians will team with celebrity snowboarders in X Games race
Some special winter sports athletes who aren’t household names will get their day in the sun today at the Winter X Games.
Special Olympics athletes will participate in the X Games for the first time in the history of the event. Ten Special Olympics athletes from around the country will be paired with a celebrity snowboarder to participate in a dual giant slalom race. Heading the list of celebrity athletes will be Olympic and X Games snowboard superpipe gold medalist Hannah Teter.
The Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding event will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. at Buttermilk. Special Olympics athletes will compete on the course head-to-head, then their celebrity teammates will square off on the same course. The teams’ scores will be a combination of the times of the Special Olympians and celebrity snowboarders.
The roster of Special Olympics athletes invited to the competition were:
• Shannon Sullivan, 28, of Alaska. She has snowboarded for 12 years and been in the Special Olympics for the same amount of time.
• Cody Field, 22, of Colorado. He has been with the Special Olympics for nine years and he has been snowboarding for six years.
• Charles Gutierrez, 32, of Colorado. He has been with Special Olympics for 19 years and snowboarding for 12 years.
• Jonathan “Beau” Karlen, 25, of Minnesota. He has been snowboarding for 15 years and competing in the Special Olympics for 15 years.
• Zachary Elder, 19, of New York. He has been snowboarding and with the Special Olympics for 12 years.
Henry Meece, 25, of Oregon. He has been snowboarding for 11 years and with Special Olympics for four years.
• Carson Geiger, 24, of Utah. He has been snowboarding for eight years and with the Special Olympics for 18 years.
• Craig Daly, 30, of Washington. He has been snowboarding for 10 years and with the Special Olympics for 16 years.
ª Daina Shilts, 23, of Wisconsin. She has been snowboarding for seven years and with the Special Olympics for 17 years.
• Ty Mahan, 21, of Wyoming. He has been snowboarding and with the Special Olympics for 10 years.
Back and better than ever this year, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club will host its annual Sports Swap on Sunday, Oct. 9, on Market Street in Willits.
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