Dns fog
69°
Dns fog
Hi 83° | Lo 62°

ConVal athletes return from Special Olympics satisfied

  • ConVal athlete Meghan Updyke (left), 18, of New Ipswich, gets ready to compete in the 40-meter snowshoeing event at the Special Olympics earlier this week. She eventually won gold.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

    ConVal athlete Meghan Updyke (left), 18, of New Ipswich, gets ready to compete in the 40-meter snowshoeing event at the Special Olympics earlier this week. She eventually won gold.
    (Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

  • ConVal athlete Dalton Coyne (center), 15, of Hancock, receives one of his two gold medals at Waterville Valley in the Special Olympics earlier this week.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

    ConVal athlete Dalton Coyne (center), 15, of Hancock, receives one of his two gold medals at Waterville Valley in the Special Olympics earlier this week.
    (Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

  • Athlete Ethan Dietsch-Kennedy poses with his fourth-place ribbon he received for a downhill skiing event. Dietsch-Kennedy competes for the ConVal adult Special Olympics team.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

    Athlete Ethan Dietsch-Kennedy poses with his fourth-place ribbon he received for a downhill skiing event. Dietsch-Kennedy competes for the ConVal adult Special Olympics team.
    (Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

  • Francis Lizotte raises his arm after receiving a gold medal in the giant slalom race at the Special Olympics in Waterville, N.H., earlier this week.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

    Francis Lizotte raises his arm after receiving a gold medal in the giant slalom race at the Special Olympics in Waterville, N.H., earlier this week.
    (Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

  • ConVal athlete Meghan Updyke (left), 18, of New Ipswich, gets ready to compete in the 40-meter snowshoeing event at the Special Olympics earlier this week. She eventually won gold.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)
  • ConVal athlete Dalton Coyne (center), 15, of Hancock, receives one of his two gold medals at Waterville Valley in the Special Olympics earlier this week.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)
  • Athlete Ethan Dietsch-Kennedy poses with his fourth-place ribbon he received for a downhill skiing event. Dietsch-Kennedy competes for the ConVal adult Special Olympics team.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)
  • Francis Lizotte raises his arm after receiving a gold medal in the giant slalom race at the Special Olympics in Waterville, N.H., earlier this week.<br/>(Courtesy Photo/Mary Maughan)

PETERBOROUGH — The ConVal High School Special Olympics team and ConVal adult Special Olympics team returned from the 2013 Winter Olympics at Waterville Valley on Tuesday with 17 gold medals, along with a slew of other awards.

A total of 19 athletes competed this year in various events, ranging from snowshoeing to Nordic and alpine skiing. Almost every athlete competed in more than one event.

The high school team consists of athletes who are 14 to 21 years of age. The adult team from ConVal is made up of athletes 22-years-old and older.

ConVal Special Olympics Coach Mary Maughan said Tuesday at the high school that she was proud of all the athletes and the success they had this year.

Special Olympics veteran Ethan Dietsch-Kennedy took home a gold medal in the slalom — an alpine skiing event — and received a fourth place ribbon later on in the games. Dietsch-Kennedy said he enjoys traveling up north for the winter games and getting to compete, even after his graduation from ConVal.

“[I’ve been doing Special Olympics] since I was a little kid,” he said at ConVal on Tuesday. “I’m 24, almost 25 now. I always have fun.”

He added that one of the best things about the games is getting to make a lot of new friends.

The high school team is funded through the ConVal School District, like any other sports team at ConVal, Maughan said. It’s part of the district budget. The adult team, however, is not funded by the high school, and relies on private donations and other activities for funding. For example, Maughan participated in the Hampton Beach Penguin Plunge to help raise money for the team.

Dalton Coyne, a 15-year-old ConVal student, is in his first year at the high school. And this was his first time competing with the high school team; the Hancock resident took home two gold medals.

“I did [Special Olympics] in middle school, but it’s my first year in high school, and first year doing downhill,” Coyne said on Tuesday. Coyne said he likes going up north to the White Mountains for a few days to compete.

Rich Clason attended Keene High School, but has been doing Special Olympics with ConVal for a number of years since his family moved to Peterborough. Clason, now 52, said he has been competing in Special Olympics since his high school days. He won two gold medals over the weekend in the 100-meter and 200-meter cross-country skiing events.

ConVal Special Education Coordinator Amy Clason-Gilmet is another of the team’s coaches. She said they try to limit athletes on the team to those who go to or went to the high school.

“We have some kids from Mascenic who compete with ConVal because their tuition goes to the ConVal Life Skills Department,” Clason-Gilmet said on Tuesday. “But we really try to limit competitors to those who go or went to ConVal.”

Clason-Gilmet said that it’s great for the adult team to get a chance to compete at the games, even though they aren’t in high school anymore.

“It’s hard for adults with disabilities to get involved in recreational activities. This is a great opportunity for them,” she said.

There is also a Special Olympics team in Temple funded by Plowshare Farm in Greenfield, called the Temple Tornadoes. Recent ConVal graduate Sasha Daler, who lives in Temple, joined the Temple Tornadoes, but didn’t get a chance to compete with the team over the weekend.

Daler has been working with Project SEARCH in Keene, a vocational training program for individuals with developmental disabilities at Cheshire Medical Center. Daler said in a phone interview Tuesday that traveling back and forth from Temple to Keene takes a lot of time from his schedule.

“I wanted to do [Special Olympics] this winter,” Daler said. “It’s just a long drive [to Keene] for work.”

Daler said he plans to participate in the summer games with the Tornadoes.

The next N.H. Special Olympics event is the Regional Basketball Assessment (unified basketball), which starts on March 16, at Keene Parks & Recreation and Keene State College.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.