Special Olympics Snowshoe Competition Update

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Article by: Jody Davidson

This is an update to the news story Community Education Panthers Win Gold!

At the state winter competition in Galena, on February 7-9, the five Special Olympic Panther Snowshoe Team gold-medal winners, their families and coaches enjoyed snow and hospitality at Chestnut Mountain Resort. The Special Olympics Illinois three-day event included alpine and cross-country skiing in addition to snowshoeing.

Tuesday evening’s opening ceremony began with the parade of athletes through downtown Galena’s main business loop, ending at the post office where the cauldron holding the Flame of Hope was located. Wednesday evening was the Victory Dance followed by the Closing Ceremony, which was held after dark. The Ski Patrol skied down the mountain with lighted torches making a formation as a tribute to the athletes.

The Snowshoe Team from Morton placed as follows:

  • Darius Villa -- Gold in 100 Meter
  • Brian Rogers -- Silver in 50 Meter
  • Jim Hatton -- Silver in 50 Meter; Bronze in 200 Meter
  • Danny Corcoran -- Bronze in 50 Meter
  • Keith Ramirez – Ribbon for 6th place in 100 Meter

Jim Hatton was leading the pack in the 200 meter race, and it looked like he was a shoo-in for the Gold medal. Unfortunately, he fell during a tricky turn, and was passed by all the other snowshoers. However, showing the true spirit of the Special Olympics Athlete Oath, he got up and continued the race. He ended up in third place with a bronze medal!

If you’d like to see a video of his race, or pictures of the athletes in action, go to Morton’s Special Olympics Facebook page.  

Special Olympics Athlete Oath:  Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.