Two local athletes will represent Virginia and the USA in the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games on January 29th. Travis Hunter, a Matoaca High School graduate, and Jannai Kennedy will be participants in the speed skating competition in Pyeong Chang, Korea. Jannai is only 14 years old and is deaf, and Travis has autism.
The opening ceremonies began at 3:30 (EST) and will end on February 5, 2013. Other athletics from Virginia are Ben Norris, a Blacksburg High School graduate, who will be participating in the skiing events and Kelly Bradshaw, from Virginia Beach, who is competing in the figure skating championships.
Just like the Olympics, these games are held every two years. Special Olympics athletics train with their local or school teams, and then compete on the state level. The top scorers compete and train for a spot, in national games, every 4 years, or the international games. It is a great accomplishment for these athletes and their families. Special Olympics International competitions are also a reminder that it doesn’t matter where you live in the world, there are persons with intellectual disabilities who need your support.
For more info, visit Special Olympics website and Facebook page, www.specialolympics.com.