A team of three alpine skiers from the vicinity is heading to the Alberta Special Olympic Winter Games later this month and are pumped for the experience.
The 2023 Special Olympics Winter Games are on February 24-26 and is hosted by Strathcona County. Events include 5-pin bowling, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.
Jay Dekeyser and Mitchell Pennington of Drumheller will be competing, as well as Brian Tabor from Olds. Martin McSween is coaching the team. They have been busy with dryland training, as well as taking the opportunity to train on snow at Nakiska, including on January 28.
“We had a cold, but productive day with good snow and great improvements from all the athletes,” said McSween.
Because the games are on a four-year cycle, COVID-19 had no effect on the Alberta Winter games cycle, as the last one was held in 2019 in Calgary. At the last games, extreme cold cancelled some of the events. Despite this, Pennington earned a fourth-place finish, just four-tenths of a second
behind the bronze medal winner. Dekeyser skied very well and won a gold medal in his three groupings.
The Alberta Special Olympics events help to determine the team for the Canada Special Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in Calgary in February 2024.
The team is grateful for sponsorship from Western Chevrolet. The Drumheller contingent was given a sponsored vehicle from Western GMC - Doug Lubinski and team, which is a huge support and enabled the team to get to the ski resort.