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Special Olympics Winter Games At Cardrona

SPECIAL OLYMPICS WINTER GAMES AT CARDRONA

Athletes from around the country converged on Cardrona Alpine Resort this week for the third New Zealand Special Olympics Winter Games.

Held every four years, the Special Olympics give intellectually disabled athletes the opportunity to compete and perhaps qualify for the New Zealand team heading to Nagano, Japan in February 2005 for the World Special Olympics Winter Games. They will join over 2,500 athletes from around 80 countries competing in seven winter sports.

"We have skiers of all abilities here this week from all over New Zealand and they're having a great time," said Sue Kysow, chief operating officer of Special Olympics New Zealand. "They've all worked so hard to get here having competed in local and regional competitions to qualify. From this week we'll pick five or six athletes who'll stay on for an extra week of training here at Cardrona and then head to Japan in February."

During the week the 33 skiers have competed in the slalom, giant slalom and downhill, helped by over 20 volunteers and Cardrona ski school staff specially trained in adaptive teaching.

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