Summit County Tigers Special Olympics team concludes season with triumphant showing at the 2023 Colorado Winter Games

The Summit County Tigers Special Olympics team poses for a photo after competing at the Colorado Winter Games at Copper Mountain Resort. The team all finished upon the award's podium with several gold and silver medals.
Diane Mikulis/Courtesy photo

To say that the Summit County Tigers Special Olympics team cleaned up at the 2023 Colorado Winter Games would be an understatement. The local team had 20 podium finishes in Alpine skiing, six first-place finishes in snowboarding and nine podium finishes in Nordic skiing.

The Colorado Winter Games — which took place March 4-5 at Copper Mountain Resort — displayed the athletic abilities of several Special Olympics teams from across the region and state. The Tigers had a distinct advantage being from Summit County, and this showed in the team’s dominance at this year’s winter games.

In the Alpine skiing discipline, Ernesto Blanco was awarded a gold medal in the super-G and giant slalom while receiving a silver medal in the slalom. Jessy Dorton placed first in the giant slalom and second in the super-G while Caroline Willis placed second in the slalom, second in the super-G and third in the giant slalom.

In the Alpine unified skiing competition — which pairs an athlete with a disability with a volunteer without a disability — Erika Abbott and her unified partner Sally DeLong placed first in every event they competed in. The pair won gold in the giant slalom, super-G and slalom.

Gabe Duwaik and his unified partner Cate Cavanaugh also swept its Alpine skiing events, placing first in the giant slalom, super-G and slalom.

In the snowboarding discipline, Summit Clark won a total of three gold medals with his unified partner Rob Trachtenberg. Clark and Trachtenberg placed first overall in the slalom, giant slalom and super-G snowboarding competitions.

In the Nordic skiing events, the Summit County Tigers had three athletes compete in Anders Dayton, Garrett Waite and Kincaid Waite. Between the trio of athletes, there was four gold medals, four silver medals and one bronze medal.

Dayton placed first in the 500-meter classic race, second in the 1,000-meter classic race and third in the 100-meter classic race. Garrett Waite placed first in the 100-meter and 1,000-meter classic races while notching a second-place finish in the 500-meter classic race.

Kincaid Waite placed finished first in the 1,000-meter classic race and second in the 100-meter and 500-meter classic races.

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