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National Winter Games wraps up

23rd September 2019

Cardrona Alpine Resort was the host last week to Special Olympics New Zealand 7th National Winter Games. Held over four days, 48 athletes with an intellectual disability took to the slopes to race in alpine skiing and snowboarding events - each competing for gold.

Joseph Fitzpatrick-Bryant from Manawatu only started skiing last year and took home two silver medals in the advanced Super G and Giant Slalom competitions. Jaimee Caffell the only female snowboard competitor held her own against the boys taking home three silver medals in the Snowboarding Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom. With athletes from ages 14 to 52 years old competing intensive competition and great sportsmanship was evident throughout the event.

See all the results from the competition here on the Special Olympics New Zealand Website

Carolyn Young, chief executive of Special Olympics New Zealand, said all 48 athletes performed exceptionally.

“The National Winter Games is an event that athletes put in extensive effort in their preparation. This training was extremely evident in their performances at the games, with each competitor demonstrating outstanding levels of passion, skill and determination which made for a fantastic event for both athletes and spectators watching.

“I am extremely proud of our amazing athletes who were tested physically this week in the competition, but also had the opportunity to create lifelong friendships with other athletes from across the country. It is the small moments and aspects like this that makes the work put into the games so rewarding.”

Held every four years in Cardrona, the National Winter Games work to create an inclusive sporting environment that celebrates all abilities.

Stew Hewitt the Technical Delegate for the Games said the 7th National Winter Games were the best yet.

“The level of support we received from spectators this year was fantastic, and truly helped to make the event such a success. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to offer some of Special Olympics athletes an event like this, and I’m proud to be a part of the team that makes it happen.”

About Special Olympics New Zealand

Special Olympics New Zealand was established as a branch of the global sports movement in the 1983 and has since strived to create an environment of inclusion and equality for people with intellectual disabilities.

It provides a year-round programme of sports training and competition for children and adults who live with an intellectual disability, and currently has more than 6000 athletes train and compete in 13 different sports.


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