SPECIAL OLYMPICS GB ANNOUNCES TEAM FOR 2013
Category: Alpine (Skiing)
SPECIAL OLYMPICS GB ANNOUNCES TEAM FOR 2013 WORLD WINTER GAMES IN SOUTH KOREA
Athletes from Biggin Hill, Tunbridge Wells, Cobham, Llanelli, Aberdeen, Redditch & Rossendale to represent Great Britain
Seven skiers from across Great Britain have been chosen to represent their country at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea in just over four months. The competition will take place in PyeongChang from 26th January – 6th February 2013.
The athletes were chosen from 73 skiers with intellectual (learning) disabilities who qualified at Special Olympics Great Britain’s National Alpine Ski Championships in Pila, Italy, earlier this year.
Over 100 nations will participate in the event in South Korea, with 2,800 athletes with intellectual disabilities taking part.
Special Olympics Great Britain is delighted to confirm the following skiers will be part of their GB team:
Wayne McCarthy (31) of Biggin Hill
Jane Andrews (35) of Tunbridge Wells
Mikael Undrom (25) of Cobham
Elizabeth Allen (18) of Llanelli
Luke Purdie (18) of Aberdeen
Clare Lines (28) of Redditch
Robert Holden (21) of Rossendale
Full profiles can be found below.
Special Olympics GB CEO Karen Wallin said "I would like to congratulate our seven skiers who will represent Great Britain in South Korea at the World Winter Games.
“The year-round sports coaching and events provided by Special Olympics in Great Britain are clinically proven to positively change the quality of lives of our 8,000 registered athletes. Nearly 1.2 million people in Great Britain – which is 2% of the population - have intellectual disabilities.”
Recent research from Canterbury Christchurch University showed that those who did participate in Special Olympics had a higher self-esteem than those who did not take part. Higher self-esteem leads to more feelings of self-worth and more self-care. Findings also concluded that those involved in Special Olympics had wider social networks and lower stress levels.
Five time Olympic skier and eight-time British Champion, Graham Bell, who joined the Special Olympics GB team in qualifying, commented: “I was really impressed by everyone’s determination in the Special Olympics GB team to try their hardest. Chemmy Alcott would be surprised how many of them used her as motivation!
“I watched most of the Special Olympics athletes and had a chance to ski with a couple of the groups. One young racer, Hannah [Dempsey of Bromley] told me that she had constructed a whole fantasy world where she got to ski as a Bond Girl and that me skiing with her was like living her fantasy. Very humbling indeed.
"The snow conditions in Pila were perfect. Cold, dry and grippy that did not rut-up at all for the racers. So we had a fair track for all the starters.”
Graham, who presents Ski Sunday and High Altitude, has also been a Special Olympics GB Ambassador since 2009. Bell flew in to Pila to inspire, and be inspired, by the athletes.
Chemmy Alcott, Olympic and six-time British National Champion Skier, said: “I never got into the sport to inspire people but it is a fantastic reward for all the hard work I have put in. I don't want fellow racers to desire to be as good as me. I want them to push themselves to be the best in the World.
“It is so great to see our Special Olympics GB skiers doing so well! And those chosen for the World Winter Games, representing your country is one of the biggest honours so massive congratulations from me to the whole team.”