Summit Special Olympians medal in tennis |

Summit Special Olympians medal in tennis

Special Olympics Colorado Summit County athletes Jessie Dorton, Erikka Abbott, Steven Kennedy and Caroline Willis pose for a photo after learning how to play tennis this summer.
Photo from Special Olympics Colorado Summit County

Local Special Olympic athletes spent the summer learning and medaling in a new sport: tennis.

Erikka Abbott of Dillon, and Caroline Willis and Steven Kennedy of Frisco are all Alpine skiers who have competed in Special Olympics for years. This year, despite the novel coronavirus, tennis was added to the Special Olympics sports in Summit County and all three decided to give it a try.

They learned the basic strokes — forehand, backhand, volleys and serves — and competed in a local competition run by their head coach, Diane Mikulis of Breckenridge. Their scores were then entered into a virtual competition with tennis athletes around the state in an individual skills competition. In the end, Abbott won a gold medal in her division, Willis won a gold in her division and Kennedy won a silver in his division.

Jessie Dorton joined the group in early September. He missed the competition but was able to learn how to play tennis. Jessie is a cross-country skier for Summit High School.

Community members helped Mikulis with the volunteer instruction, including Brittany Dawoudi of Keystone, Amy Helfin of Breckenridge and Abbey Dobrota and Nanako Mura of Frisco.

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