Special Olympics Alpine Skiers wrap up season | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Special Olympics Alpine Skiers wrap up season


This season involved the team’s competition athletes participating in a regular low-key season focussing on dryland and on-snow training on an off-competition year.
Three Drumheller athletes, Mitchell Pennington, Brian James and Jay Dekeyser, participated in dryland training weekly at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) from November 2023 to March 2024, prior to and during our on-snow training. The skiers completed two on-snow training days at the Nakiska Ski Resort on Saturday, February 3 and Saturday, March 9.
On the March 9 training at Nakiska, the day was cut short due to a major power outage that shut down chairlifts, and the main Lodge facilities which forced the team to cut short its training and head home early.
“Nakiska was kind enough to credit our day’s lift cost for a day next season. Kudos to them for their understanding of that event. We were fortunate to have positive weather and great snow conditions at the resort this year. We were scheduled for an original first on-snow development day in January but were delayed due to extreme cold temperatures,” said coach Martin McSween.
Competitive skier, Brian Tabor, from Olds completed on-snow training with the team this year at Nakiska Ski Resort with support from volunteer coach Murray Elliott. Coaches saw marked improvement in all the athletes’ skill development in preparation for next year’s ski season with a potential Qualifier for Special Olympics Alberta Winter Provincials in 2027.
Competition athletes are Brian Tabor-Olds, Mitchell Pennington, Jay Dekeyser and newcomer Brian James-Drumheller. Brian James has been a developing athlete now ready for competition.
The team met for a last dryland training on Thursday, March 14 at the BCF and met for a season wind-up supper at Bernie and the Boys restaurant in Drumheller.
The team received great community support, including from Doug Lubinski and staff of Western GM Drumheller who sponsored a vehicle for transportation to Nakiska from Drumheller, Karen Mengersen of Special Olympics Olds and Special Olympics Alberta Staff for behind-the-scenes support and encouragement, Nakiska Ski Resort and Molly Faulkner of group sales and the rental services staff,staff at the BCF for their kind support, Murray Elliott for on-snow coaching, lodge support, and transporting our Olds athlete, and of course the athlete’s families and residential support staff.

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