Olympians garner wins

Four Routt County athletes win awards at Special Olympics

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Considering that Joe Arnold raced to two gold medals at last Saturday's Special Olympic Summer Games in Greeley, it is easy to understand why his teammates and coaches call him "Cheetah Joe."

Arnold won the 1,500-meter run in a time of 6 minutes, 58 seconds. He also won the 400-meter run.

"Those were my best times ever," Arnold said after returning to Steamboat.

He has been involved with the Special Olympics program for 26 years and has made roughly a dozen trips to the state's summer games. He said this trip would stand out as his best.

But Arnold was not the only Routt County athlete on the podium Saturday.

Teammate Sue White earned the gold in the 1,500-meter walk and the silver in the 400-meter walk. Misty Garcia earned the gold in the 400-meter walk and a bronze in the standing long jump.

Bruce Rule won the bronze in the bench press and the dead lift. He also was given the Andy Chisman Memorial Award, which is given to the power lifter who best exemplifies the spirit of the Special Olympics.

Four swimmers from South Routt County also stepped onto the podium.

The team of Clinton Koler, Jaimee Sexton, Marisa Lombardi and Rhianna Kresl won the 100-meter mixed freestyle relay.

Koler also earned the gold in the 25-meter freestyle and took fifth in the 50-meter freestyle in Division B.

Sexton collected the silver in the 25-meter backstroke and a fifth in the 25-meter freestyle in Division C.

Marisa Lombardi took fifth in the 25-meter freestyle Division A and sixth in the 50-meter backstroke in Division C.

Kresl won the gold in the 25-meter backstroke and was third in the 25-meter freestyle in Division C.

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the Special Olympics Colorado Summer games, which included aquatics, track and field, gymnastics, power lifting and soccer.

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