Home Consumer 3 Broward Special Olympics Skiers Head To World Games

3 Broward Special Olympics Skiers Head To World Games

special olympics
Broward Special Olympics team practices snow skiing on the beach (Ardy Friedberg)
ESPN Crew (Ardy Friedberg)

Broward County Special Olympics skiers, fresh from Gold Medal winning performances at the Southeast Winter Games in Boone, N.C., were interviewed by ESPN on Saturday morning practicing on the beach in Dania, Florida.

The 22 skiers from Broward won 20 gold medals in the two-day competition.

Three of Florida’s skiers will compete in the Special Olympics World Games in Graz, Austria, March  14-25. They are Fernando Nunez, Kerri Lynn Leonardo and Michelle Canadaro.

special olympics
Broward Special Olympics team warming up (Ardy Friedberg)

The Broward team practices from October to February on the sand at Dr. Von D. Miizell-Eula Johnson State Park on Dania Beach. The unique sand practice is the only way for athletes in Florida to get the sensation of skiing and snowboarding without snow. Workouts include warm-up exercises, sliding on the sand, roller blading and riding scooters around pylons in the parking lot to simulate slalom skiing.

Boots, skis, helmets, goggles and winter clothing are provided by Special Olympics. French-Swiss Ski College instructors give pre-event lessons to all the athletes on Appalachian Ski Mountain.

Practice, Practice, Practice (Ardy Friedberg)

The Southeast Games showcased skiers from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. More than 150 athletes participated in the event from February 4 to 8.

The ESPN crew taped Broward skiers during the competition in Boone and they plan to do the same in Austria. An ESPN writer is also preparing a story for an upcoming edition of ESPN Magazine and ESPN.com.