A group of athletes here in the East started off the New Year with a bang. They brought home multiple gold medals for a statewide competition.
For some athletes this was their first time skiing, while others had been skiing for years. However, by the end of the 2013 North Carolina Special Olympics Winter Games, all seven of the athletes were smiling.
In January, seven Beaufort and Hyde County athletes hit the slopes at the North Carolina Special Olympics Winter Games in Boone,North Carolina. Six came of them came back with gold medals.
"I kissed the snow 30 to 40 times each practice; but, when it came down to the competition, the trial run and the competition, I got 12 something on my trial run and seven something on my run. And I won a gold medal and this is my first year." said gold medalist Norman Clark.
"I went way down to the end and I got first place. Yes it was cool and when I got on the first plane on top and me and Sara both cried. I was like, oh my gosh!" said gold medalist Heath Vinroe.
The athletes say the games were about more than winning.
"The best part of skiing is to have fun and have great fellowship," said gold medalist and veteran skier Nina Buckman.
The coaches, who volunteer their time, say seeing they're athletes learn a new skills is the most enjoyable part.
"Seeing the athletes who have never even skied before, never even seen snow, [and] to get out there. Like Stormin Norman to give it 110% and seeing him get that first place gold medal is absolutely indescribable," said Area Coordinator and Coach Sara Boykin-Clark.
The youngest medalist was a 9 year old, who competed for the first time.
The Beaufort-Hyde Special Olympics team is looking for coaches for the spring game later this year.
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