POMFRET, VERMONT -- The AbilityPLUS Bluebirds adaptive alpine race team wrapped up the 2012-13 season by winning more than a dozen medals, including six gold, six silver, 3 bronze and five additional top-five finishes at the Vermont Special Olympics race series finale at Suicide Six ski area in Pomfret, Vermont. The AbilityPLUS Bluebirds, named in honor of the team’s favorite chairlift, train weekly at Mount Snow.
“What a fantastic finish to our racing and training season. Our team put in one-hundred percent all year, it’s great to see their dedication pay off!” said Corey Robinson, AbilityPLUS Bluebirds coach.
AbilityPLUS first year racer Emma Davis of Brattleboro, Vermont made her Special Olympics alpine race debut by winning two gold and one silver medal in novice Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G. Also at the top of the podium to receive gold medals were Nicholas Saladino of Halifax, Vermont, Rachel Hurn of Darien, Conn. and Lauren Strol of New Milford, Conn., all second year racers. Silver medals were won by two more first-year racers, Danny Hollister of Searsburg, Vermont and Kevin Greenberg of Longmeadow, Mass. Intermediate level racer Emy Shah of Westport, Conn. won a bronze medal in the Giant Slalom and top five ribbons in both the Intermediate Slalom and Super G.
“This is a great success for our entire team,” said AbilityPLUS Executive Director of Programs AbilityPLUS, who also serves as the Bluebirds head coach. “We created the AbilityPLUS alpine race team in 2011 to give students interested in racing in Paralympic and Special Olympics events the opportunity to train and the means to enter regional races” continued , “in just two short years we’ve got an amazing team!” Every member of the AbilityPLUS Bluebirds made it to the medals podium at the Vermont Special Olympics season finale Saturday.
The Special Olympics, founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities. The organization provides training and competitions for 3.7 million athletes in 170 countries. The Special Olympics Winter World Games was held January 26-February 6, 2013 in Pyeonghang, South Korea.
AbilityPLUS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in its 16th year of enriching the lives of program participants, their families, friends and a community of volunteers who work to provide year ‘round adaptive sports and recreation for individuals with all manner of disabilities, from severe physical impairments to people with autism across the spectrum. The AbilityPLUS Soldiers For Soldiers program serves wounded veterans and active-duty service members with various injuries, including amputations, brain injuries, burns, visual and hearing impairments, all forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other emotional scars. AbilityPLUS is a Chapter of DSUSA and is a Paralympic Sport Club. Additional information about AbilityPLUS and full menu of programs is available by calling 800-287-8415 x103 or online at AbilityPLUS.org.