The first Southeast Winter Games and the first Alpine skiing competition held in the history of Special Olympics were held in 1974 as Alpine skiing was introduced to the Special Olympics movement by Jim Cottrell with French Swiss Ski College.
SONC hosted its first state-level Winter Games-Alpine Skiing event in 1994 with over 200 athletes and coaches traveling to Boone for the competition. Volunteers with the Raleigh Skiing and Outing Club and French Swiss Ski College work with athletes on the snow during the December training camp, and also officiate during competitions.
SONC offers four competitive events in alpine skiing, accommodating all ability levels and competition interests from beginner to advanced.
The glide is for athletes just learning how to ski where the terrain has a gentle slope with no turns. Coaches are allowed to assist athletes at this level.
The super glide is the next level where the terrain is slightly steeper than the glide, but also does not have turns.
Athletes competing in the novice slalom will ride a ski lift and ski on steeper terrain, weaving through a number of gates on their way to the finish.
Athletes in the intermediate slalom will experience a more challenging terrain than the novice slalom, with an increased number of gates.
Athletes competing in advanced slalom ski on the most challenging terrain (commonly referred to as the “black” runs), and expereince tighter turns and more gates in their competition.
Snowboarding, while not an official SONC sport, is gaining popularity with athletes looking for a new challenge on the slopes. SONC offers the novice slalom at competition.
SONC Athlete Training Camp is designed to get athletes out onto the snow and practice their skills under skilled and professional ski instructors. This training camp will take place on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Coaches can also register on this form to receive on-snow training on how to help their athletes in skiing or snowboarding.
SONC Winter Games – Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding is the state-level competition and takes place in Boone and Blowing Rock on January 8-9, 2017.
Special Olympics Southeast Winter Games – Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding is an additional competition opportunity for SONC athletes, as well as athletes from surrounding states. This event takes place February 5-7, 2017.
Sport Development Team
These volunteers advise SONC staff regarding sport rule modifications, serve on the games management team, and also train coaches in their sport! For more information on the alpine skiing sport development team, contact one of the members below or Andrea Stamm, SONC staff liaison.