Special Olympians brave cold to soar on the slopes

CANAAN VALLEY – Temperatures and wind chill factors were brutal last week at Canaan Valley Ski Resort, but the frigid cold could not squelch the determination of three members of the Randolph County Special Olympics Ski Team.

Coach David Perry, of Elkins, said his team – including Linda Teter, Jim Ketterman and Dan Nestor – made him proud.

“They braved the cold temperatures and were determined to not only finish the races, but win,” Perry said. “And there were absolutely no complaints.”

Perry said the cross country course was very slick because of the below-zero temperatures.

“Jim lost his ski boot and fell down during his race,” Perry said. “But he jumped right up, got his boot back on and finished the race, earning a silver medal.”

Perry said Dan Nestor fell as well during his race.

“He was helped back to his feet by college volunteers,” Perry said. “And he got right back in the race to finish in second place.”

Each athlete competed in two cross country races during the events – a 50 meter race and a 100 meter race. Perry said his three athletes were among 105 Special Olympics participants from all across West Virginia and Virginia.

Teter said she had lots of fun traveling to Canaan and competing.

“We drank coffee to stay warm,” Teter said. “We ate lunch one day at White Grass Ski Resort and went to a victory dance Thursday evening. I liked playing in the game room and watching people while we sat by the fire.”

Teter added that it was very cold, and she won a gold medal in the 100 meter cross country race and a silver medal in the 50 meter race.

Jim Ketterman said he had fun and is looking forward to the basketball competition at the end of March. Ketterman captured two silver medals – one in the 100 meter cross country race and one in the 50 meter race.

Dan Nestor also earned two silver medals. One was in the 100 meter cross country race and one in the 50 meter race.

Members of the Randolph County Special Olympics will travel to Morgantown in March. They will participate in individual skills and team basketball games during their stay.