LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Special Olympics Wisconsin provides training and competition for nearly 10,000 athletes statewide.
One of their top winter sports is downhill skiing.
Day or night, the slopes of MT. La Crosse attract both rookies and pros.
Scott Prairie is no stranger to the lifts.
He practices every week-preparing for competition at the Special Olympics Winter games
"I like to compete in all of the events. It is kind of fun. I like the downhill because I get to go fast," said Prairie.
Scott started out about 15 years ago and couldn't stand up on skies. Now, he is one of the fastest downhill skiers for Special Olympics in the state," said his coach, Mark Moan.
Scott has won dozens of gold medals at state and this year's goal is no different.
Scott's success stems from hard work and strong support.
His teammate Danny Schoen loves to cheer for Scott.
"We have to support our team and I like it. It is really fun," said Schoen.
Danny isn't a rookie either.
He has been with the team since 1987.
Renee Cappetto has been part of the team for 30 years.
She says special Olympics has helped her find life long friends-both locally and internationally and she has a motivational motto.
"I like to get first place, but I also like to help those that don't. I tell everyone they are a winner no matter what," said Cappetto.
These athletes train hard once or twice a week with the help of coaches and volunteers.
"It is very humbling for me. They work hard and I definitely get more out of it than I give them. They are a joy to work with," said their coach Mark Moan.
Coach Chris Kildahl competes with athlete, Andy White.
Andy is in a wheelchair, however skies with a bi-ski.
In the past six years, this duo has won four gold medals!
The Special Olympics program is always looking for more participants and volunteers.
If you would like to get involved, log onto www.specialolympicswisconsin.org.
For more information about MT. La Crosse, log onto www.mtlacrosse.com.
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