Tri-City skiers, snowboarders compete in Special Olympics

By the Tri-City HeraldMarch 7, 2014 

Connor Nielsen, 16, of West Richland, son of Ryan and Christine Nielsen, was chosen as one of the many outstanding athletes to be featured on Winter Games posters and programs. This year he won a gold medal in the advanced downhill and a silver medal in the advanced giant slalom.

COURTESY MAGGI NIELSEN

The Tri Cities Special Olympics ski and snowboard team, Tri-City Ski Wolves, participated in the Special Olympics Washington Winter Games from Feb. 28 to March 2 at Mission Ridge near Wenatchee.

Teams from around the state, including Spokane, Seattle, Olympia, Wenatchee and other regions, participated in giant slalom, downhill and slalom races during the three-day event.

Many of the Tri-City athletes won gold, silver and bronze metals.

Connor Nielsen, 16, of West Richland, son of Ryan and Christine Nielsen, was chosen as one of the many outstanding athletes to be featured on Winter Games posters and programs. This year he won a gold medal in the advanced downhill and a silver medal in the advanced giant slalom. In 2013 he won a gold medal in the advanced slalom.

The Ski Wolves have been participating in the games for more than 20 years. The athletes participating in the games this year ranged in age from 8 to more than 50 years old.

Members of the ski team are Ethan Davis, Joshua Duggan, Kaden Eyre, Levi J. Eyre, Thomas LeCompte, Ember Mikkelsen, Connor Nielsen, Mark O'Brien, Angela Ortega, Jacob Page, William "Bill" Peters, Spencer Pidcock, Morgan Sams, Jeffrey C. "Jeff" Simonis, Christina Tobin, Phillip Dale Todd, Jesse R. Jr. Todd, Sheila York and Evan P. Young.

Members of the snowboarding team are Alex Breashers, Michael Graves, Corrie Hissam, Bryan David Keith, Lindsey Mallonee, Clayton Miller, Casey Roberts, Jarel Slater and Jason L. Timmins.

Gerry McHenry coaches both teams.

The skiing and snowboarding athletes have trained every Saturday at Bluewood Ski area since the beginning of January.

For the past 23 years, the Special Olympics of Washington has held the Winter Games in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Sporting activities include alpine skiing, basketball, cross country skiing, figure and speed skating and snowboarding.

The games are the final activity for the ski team until next January.

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