|Special Olympics skier wins medal, honor|
Winner also lights Olympic Torch
VIOLA, Ill.-- Skier Cynthia Mack won a gold and a silver medal
at the recent 1989 International Winter Special Olympics in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
Cynthia, 23, took the gold in the slalom races and missed a gold
in the giant slalom by only 19/100's of a second to receive the silver award.
Both the morning and afternoon competitions were averaged to
compute the final score.
Mack earned her spot on the team by winning the Mississippi Valley
competition at Snowstar in Andalusia, and by participating in the
Illinois state competition on Chestnut Mountain in Galena last year.
She had the honor of lighting the Special Olympics torch at
Snowstar and placed second in the women's intermediate downhill and
giant slalom events.
Cynthia's parents, Janet and Tony Mack; her sister Kelly, 17; and
brother, Pete, 18, drove to Lake Tahoe to see her compete.
Cultural exchanges took place throughout the week-long event -
April 1-8 - with educational clinics, dances and musical shows.
Opening ceremonies included a parade, torch lighting and
entertainment by celebrities. Closing ceremonies featured an ice show.
Cynthia has been skiing since 1981. "I wasn't scared. I just
did the best that I could," she said.
Her bedroom is filled with gold, silver and bronze medals, along with
several trophies resulting from her athletic ability in basketball,
swimming, bowling, track and field and skiing.
"Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with
mental retardation can, with proper instruction and encouragement,
learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team
sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with special
mental and physical limitation," Special Olympics magazine says.