Monday, February 1, 2010

Special Olympics Qualifier Held in Weston

Thirty athletes competed from all over Massachusetts in an annual cross country skiing qualifying event at Weston Ski Track on the last day of January. Most will go on to the Connecticut Winter Games and compete with 150 athletes there February 27 and 28.

Jennifer Maitland, the director of Special Olympics Massachusetts, started races with megaphone in hand on this sunny cold day. Races included the 25, 50, 100 and 500 meters, 1 kilometer, and two relays - a 4x100 and 4x500. She said that there aren't enough athletes in Massachusetts competing in nordic skiing and skating events to warrant a state tournament, so to gain greater competitive experience, Massachusetts skiers and skaters travel to Connecticut.

Athletes are divisioned by ability, gender and age. Conditions were perfect at the Weston Ski Track, the only nordic facility in Massachusetts that makes snow. Smiles and enthusiastic cheering were prevalent as racers took off in their separate tracks and even when they were well out of hearing range. Susannah is shown completing her race above.

The Massachusetts Winter Games will take place in Worcester on March 13 and 14. Athletes will compete indoors in basketball, bowling, and floor hockey. Alpine skiing events will be held at Mt. Wachusett. For more information, visit

No comments: