I found out a couple of weeks ago from a friend that Special Olympics does snowshoeing and cross country skiing during the Winter months. We hadn't heard about it yet - which was why we had signed Connor up for Basketball. Basketball is actually pretty darn loud and crowded - not the best combination for Connor.
This friend attends my church & also has a Special Olympian daughter. She let me know they'd be going up this weekend & where to meet. Since I have my own skis & Special Olympics provides the snowshoes, all we needed was to pack a lunch :)
Its about 90 minutes to get to Diamond Lake, where there are plenty of nice trails & a lodge with a restaurant & restroom. The lake is actually frozen over right now & covered with snow. I wasn't expecting that :)
Connor put on his new Kamik snowboots & a couple of folks helped get him into his snowshoes. Within 10 minutes though, he was teary-eyed. He wanted to ski! Most of the Special Olympians are on the snowshoes, mainly because it requires a lot less coordination. Well, Connor's pretty dang coordinated, and lucky for him, our feet are close to the same size. I swapped his boots for my cross country shoes, and got him hooked up on my skis.
Apparently, he's a natural. The folks that put the SO stuff together were very, very impressed by how quickly he picked up the skiing. I was impressed that he kept going, even when his arms hurt from using the poles (at the beginning, when he was using them to push himself). He fell a lot, but got right back up - well, once he'd sampled the snow from where he was laying.
All in all, he skied a good three hours, with a lunch break in between. We missed the deadline to compete this year in Bend, but I'm pretty sure he'll be on board next year!