Texans will have one last opportunity to see Plano figure skater Ian Rawn take the ice in a competitive setting before he makes his way to Austria next month for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Rawn, who is the state’s only representative selected to compete in the international event as a member of Special Olympics USA, will participate in the Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) Regional Figure Skating competition at Allen Community Ice Rink, on Friday, Feb. 17.
Rawn and five others from the Richardson Roadrunners delegation will be competing in Competition and skills events, which will run from8:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The Championship field features a total of 11 SOTX athletes, three coaches and 10 volunteers from around the state. This is one of eight annual state championship events held by SOTX and one of only three single-sport statewide events.
Athletes, all ranging from 21 to 44 years old, will compete in one of four divisions, which are categorized by age and ability.
Six competitors hail from the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Justin Horton (Richardson, TX), Andrew Lugo (Garland, TX), Kristen Lyons (Richardson, TX), Leanne Owens (Dallas, TX), Tekla Petecki (Richardson, TX) and Ian Rawn (Plano, TX). All are members of the Richardson Roadrunners delegation.
The competition will also feature one out-of-state athlete. Natalia Henry, a Las Cruces, N.M. resident, competes with the El Paso Figure Skating delegation, which is coached by her mother Krystyna Swirydczuk. The two participate with SOTX, because the Special Olympics program in New Mexico does not offer Figure Skating as one of its sports.
“We lived in Houston, so Natalia's first 14 years with Special Olympics was based there and we built a lot of friendships there,” Swirydczuk said. “We now live 50 miles from El Paso and that is the closest ice rink. Because Natalia's skating is so prominent in her life, I decided to make the effort and have been driving down there twice a week for the last 11 years. Our closest rink in New Mexico is in Albuquerque, which is 220 miles away, and Special Olympics New Mexico does not have figure skating.”
Henry has been figure skating since 1992 when she was six years old. She started competing with SOTX when she turned eight. Despite moving from Houston to New Mexico with her family in 2006, Henry has continued to compete with SOTX, while also taking up Bowling with Special Olympics New Mexico. Her participation with SOTX has enabled her to have many unique experiences. In 2000, she competed against athletes from all across the U.S. at the Special Olympics National Games, held in Anchorage, Alaska. From there, she brought home a gold medal in Figure Skating.
For more information on the upcoming Figure Skating Competition here.
Schedule of Events
8:00 a.m. – Check-in
8:15 a.m. – Resurface
8:30 a.m. – Practice Ice
9:00 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
9:15 a.m. – Compulsory & Skills Events
10:00 a.m. – Free Skate Events
11:00 a.m. – Awards Ceremony
11:15 a.m. – Conclusion of Events
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 55,200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visitwww.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX;youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.
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