Steamboat’s Sue White races to top spot in giant slalom race at Special Olympics World Winter Games | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat’s Sue White races to top spot in giant slalom race at Special Olympics World Winter Games

Sue White shows off the golf medal she won at the Special Olympic World Winter Games Tuesday in the giant slalom. The longtime Steamboat Springs resident also placed fourth in her division in the super-G.

— There was a sense of happiness in the Horizons Specialized Services offices in Steamboat Springs Tuesday after an early morning phone call let the staff know that Sue White was bringing home a gold medal from the 2017 Special Olympic World Winter Games.

"My heart just soared," Horizons employee Mike Dwire said of getting the phone call. "I think we are all super excited for Sue. She seems to be doing so well and is enjoying herself so much. She is so happy, and we are all just happy for her."

White is spending the week in Austria with case manager Meghan McNamara, who volunteered to make the trip with White. McNamara is using vacation time and paid for the trip out of her own pocket.

On Tuesday, White raced to the top of the podium in the novice giant slalom race. She finished the course in 1 minute, 39.51 seconds finishing in front of second-place finisher Tabitha Parnell (1:50.19), who is also from the United States, and Pilar Del Rio Valls of Spain, who finished in 1:59.34.

It was White's second top finish of the Games.

On Sunday, White was fourth in the novice super-G race with a time of 40.22. Antonina Rogova of Kazakhstan finished with a time of 32.44 to win the event. Second place went to Birgit Gebhardt of Austria, and Goretti Reigosa of Spain captured third — just one second ahead of White.

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The giant slalom race was the last of the week for White who competed in two events. All of the athletes participate in two categories, so Sue did super-G and giant slalom. When asked what she plans to do with the rest of her time in Austria she said she plans to free ski until the team leaves for the closing ceremonies in Graz.

The Games will run through March 25 in the cities of Graz, Schladming, Ramsau am Dachstein and Rohrmoos-Untertal, Austria.

The Special Olympics offers people facing intellectual challenges an opportunity to compete and participate with athletes at approximatley the same ability level.

Special Olympics International was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 and is based in Washington, D.C. Special Olympics paid for White to attend the Winter World Games. People wishing to support the cause can make a donation to Special Olympics at coloradogives.org.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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