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Longmeadow residents dominate Special Olympic alpine skiing

April 3, 2014 |

AbilityPLUS racer Jack Arnold and his father, Mike Arnold, left, sporting gold at the Vermont Special Olympics.

Reminder Publications submitted photo

POMFRET, Vt. – Three Longmeadow residents led their alpine race team to nearly two-dozen medals at the Vermont Special Olympics at Suicide Six ski area in Pomfret, Vt. Jack Arnold, Jake Ratner, and Kevin Greenberg, all of Longmeadow, are ski racers with AbilityPLUS Team Bluebirds, the adaptive ski team that trains at Mount Snow, Vermont. Jack Arnold made it to the podium three times, winning gold medals for both Giant Slalom and Super G in the Intermediate Sit-Ski category, and silver in Intermediate Bi-Ski Slalom. Kevin Greenberg, who competed in the Intermediate Men's category, won gold in Giant Slalom, and silver in Super G. First time racer Jake Ratner competed alongside several more experienced racers in the intermediate category, and showed his athleticism and potential as a ski racer with a fourth-place ribbon in Slalom. “The AbilityPLUS race team had an incredible season, both in training and in winning nineteen medals and five ribbons at the Special Olympics season finale," Linda Walsh, AbilityPLUS at Mount Snow Program Director, said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the achievements of our Longmeadow delegation, Jack, Kevin and Jake! They are incredible athletes, who are, along with their families, an extremely important part of our wonderful organization.” In all, the Longmeadow racers made seven trips to the podium on behalf of AbilityPLUS Team Bluebirds. The Special Olympics, founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities. The organization provides training and competitions for 3.7 million athletes in 170 countries. AbilityPLUS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in its 17th year of enriching the lives of program participants, their families, friends and a community of volunteers who work to provide year 'round adaptive sports and recreation for individuals with all manner of disabilities, from severe physical impairments to people with autism across the spectrum. The AbilityPLUS Soldiers For Soldiers program serves wounded veterans and active-duty service members with various injuries, including amputations, brain injuries, burns, visual and hearing impairments, all forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other emotional scars. AbilityPLUS is a Chapter of DSUSA and is a Paralympic Sport Club. Additional information about AbilityPLUS and full menu of programs is available by calling 800-287-8415, ext. 103 or visiting http://abilityplus.org.

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