Amy Snow Lothrop, Contributor
During the last two years the Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports program at Bolton Valley Resort has supported kids of all ages and Vermont veterans with skiing and other social activities. Recently the program recognized volunteer Greg Lothrop for his dedication and hard work with the veterans.
Greg is a Vietnam veteran who recognizes the support veterans need to stay healthy and active. His own diagnosis of vascular dementia does not deter him from keeping active by sky diving, skiing, biking and kayaking.
He remembers a time in the 1960s when talk of being a Vietnam veteran was not accepted. Now he is happy that the conversation has shifted to one of respect and support for our men and women who have served us honorably and proudly.
Greg is a lifetime skier who resides in Milton with his wife, Carole, and together they help Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports two days a week. If you would like to know more about these programs, please contact Kelly or Josh at vermontadaptive.org.
Nearly 40 athletes from the Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports race team will compete in Alpine skiing and snowshoeing at the Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games March 3–5 at Suicide Six Mountain in Woodstock.
Vermont Adaptive Race Team athletes train every Sunday afternoon at Sugarbush Resort in Waitsfield and at Pico Mountain in Killington. This year, 30 athletes from the Special Olympics Vermont Chittenden County program have joined the Vermont Adaptive team to train. Members of the Special Olympics Vermont Rutland program train with the Vermont Adaptive team at Pico.
“The ‘miles of smiles’ theme may seem a bit of a cliché, but for this team it really is the truth,” said Tom Alcorn, senior program coordinator for Vermont Adaptive. “The camaraderie that these athletes develop week after week is a key part of their personal journey as well as their athletic one. Not only are they refining their skills and abilities as skiers and snowboarders, but they’re also learning how to be positive teammates and supporters of others’ dreams. It’s an incredible program to be a part of.”
Nearly 50 volunteers attended Vermont Adaptive’s preseason training and coach the race team. “Vermont Adaptive’s volunteers bring a wealth of professionalism, experience and knowledge to the table with this new partnership with Special Olympics,” said Maggie Burke, managing director at Vermont Adaptive. “We are excited to have the opportunity to share our quality training program with more athletes.”
The team and coaches have been working hard since the summer to ensure that participants gain the best experience possible while training for the Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games. As a program, their goal is to go have a good time, according to Vermont Adaptive Head Coach Norm Staunton.
“We are there to make better skiers and give everyone on the team a chance to compete in one competition,” said Staunton.
The Vermont Adaptive Ski and Snowboard Team is open to any athlete, ski or snowboard, of any age and ability. For more information, contact Tim Alcorn (Pico location) or Olivia Joseph (Sugarbush location).