Special Olympics brings home hardware

The Goshen County School District Special Olympics team (l-r) EJ Haas, Anneke Kramer, Ty Haefflin, Mia Winter, coach Craig Schadwinkel and coach Sage Munoz. Ty Haeffelin competing in the male speed dribbling competition. Courtesy photos

TORRINGTON – The Goshen County School District (GCSD) Special Olympics team took the court this past weekend to participate in the 2022 Spring Area III Games in Cheyenne.
Participating against teams from Cheyenne, Laramie, Platte County, Carbon County, Goshen County Masters and Saratoga, the GCSD team brought home multiple gold and silver medals.
Special Olympics Coach Craig Schadwinkel said the team chose basketball skills as their event in which to compete for the spring games. Other events included swimming, track and field events and team basketball.
Special Olympics requires each athlete to participate in around eight to ten hours of practice prior to competing. Schadwinkel said he and coach Sage Munoz typically begin their practices six weeks before competitions start, with athletes practicing two times per week.
“In our practices, we work on the fundamental skills of the sport we will be competing in as well as over-all fitness and endurance skills with our athletes,” Schadwinkel said.
The team numbers vary season to season, but typically consists of anywhere from four to seven athletes competing in soccer in the fall and basketball in the spring/summer.
“Being a school-based program, our parents are also directly involved when we travel to any competition. They serve as their child’s chaperone, as well as their biggest fan,” he said. “We couldn’t be as successful as we are without their awesome support. The parents also help us with our fundraising efforts that we have to do for our program.”
Goshen County School District team results:
 Ty Haeffelin won the Over-all gold medal for the Male Speed Dribbling competition and the Over-all Gold medal for the Male Basketball Skills in Division II.
EJ Haas won the Over-all Silver medal in the Male Speed Dribbling competition and the Over-all Gold medal in the Male Basketball Skills in Division I.
Anneke Kramer won the Over-all Silver medal in the Female Speed Dribbling competition and the Over-all Gold medal in the Female Basketball skills in Division I.
Mia Winter won the Over-all Gold medal in the Female Speed Dribbling competition and the Over-all Silver medal in the Female Basketball Skills in Division I.
“Coach Munoz and I were so proud of our GCSD athletes. Winning five gold medals and three silver medals showed us how hard these athletes worked in our practices to improve and continue to get better day after day,” Schadwinkel said. “Most of our athlete’s scores were the highest in the Area Games competition which is an honor in itself.”

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