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X Games and Special Olympics Athletes Announced for Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding Event

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Eight Special Olympics Athletes Paired with X Games Teammates for Live Streamed Unified Snowboard Race at X Games Aspen 2018

WHAT: In 2018, Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding will return for its fourth year at X Games Aspen. Teams will be comprised of one professional action sports athlete, including X Games and Olympic medalists, and one Special Olympics action sports athlete for a total of eight, two-person teams. Each of the team members will take one run on each of the two competition courses, with the professional athletes racing against one another and the Special Olympics athletes racing one another. The combined best times of each team will determine the results.

Special Olympics Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. ESPN is the global presenting sponsor and official media sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports.

WHEN: Thursday, January 25 at 2:15 – 3 p.m. MT

WHERE: The Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding course is located above the start of the Big Air course at X Games Aspen (Buttermilk Mountain).

WATCH: The event will be streamed live on ESPN3 and will be available on YouTube.

WHO: Eight Special Olympics athletes and eight of the world’s top action sports athletes.

Confirmed Special Olympics and professional action sports athletes include:

Henry Meece (Portland, Oregon) Chris Klug (Aspen, Colo.)
·        Placed first with Chris Klug in Unified Dual Slalom at X Games Aspen 2016

·        Represented USA at the 2017 World Winter Games in Austria

·        Started off as a skier before transitioning to snowboarding

·        After receiving a liver transplant in 2000, he went on to compete in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and win a bronze medal in Parallel Giant Slalom

·        Won a bronze medal and lit the torch at the 2002 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games

 

Daina Shilts (Neillsville, Wisc.) Hannah Teter (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.)
·        Won two silver medals and one gold at the 2013 World Winter Games in South Korea

·        Placed third at X Games Aspen 2016 in the Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding event with Hannah Teter

·        Her favorite snowboarder and role model is Hannah Teter

·        Six-time X Games medalist, including one gold in 2004 at age 16

·        Dedicated to humanitarian issues – the profit of her maple syrup “Hannah’s Gold” goes to bringing fresh water to a community in Kenya

·        Has teamed up with Daina Shilts in the Dual Giant Slalom for four consecutive years

Zachary Elder (New York, New York) Danny Davis (Highland, Mich.)
·        Two-time X Games medalist for Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding, with one bronze and one silver

·        The first snowboarding member of the Adaptive Sports Foundation’s Race Team and serves as Ambassador for Ride2Live Project

·        13-time National Medalist in the USASA’s Slalom, GS, Boardercross and Banked Slalom

·        Won back to back SuperPipe gold medals in 2014 and 2015

·        Created Peace Park, an invite-only, five-day “contest” with no scores on a unique, skatepark-influenced course

·        Co-founded the Frendly Gathering, an annual music festival held in Vermont

Craig Muhlbock (Sydney, Australia) Scotty James (Warrandyte, Australia)
·        Participated in Special Olympics snowboarding events for the past eight years, including two National Games and the 2013 World Winter Games in South Korea, where he won three silver medals

·        In 2013, represented Australia at the Asia Pacific Games in soccer

·        Joined Special Olympics 15 years ago

·        Two-time Olympian, 2015 World Champion, and X Games medalist

·        First male Australian snowboarder to medal in SuperPipe at X Games

·        Plays banjo every day and earned his pilot’s license in 2014

Denisa Trmalova (Tanvald, Czech Republic) Silje Norendal (Oslo, Norway)
·        Started snowboarding in 2010

·        Won gold in Advanced Women’s Slalom and silver in Intermediate Women’s Super G at the 2017 Special Olympics Winter World Games

·        Studying to become an assistant dental technician

·        Three-time X Games Snowboard Slopestyle gold medalist

·        Nike covergirl, has been featured in the Norwegian editions of Cosmo and Elle magazines

·        Member of the Norwegian national team

Cody Field (Centennial, Colo.) Jamie Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.)
·        Named Special Olympics Colorado Male Athlete of the Year in 2013

·        Won three gold medals at the 2013 Special Olympics World Games in PyeongChang

·        Recognized as 2012 Colorado Athlete with a Disability  Award

·        Competes in basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football at Special Olympics

·        The most decorated rider in X Games Slopestyle history, Jamie boasts 11 medals including four gold

·        Won gold in Slopestyle’s Olympic debut in 2014

·        Named “30 Under 30” on 2015 Forbes Sports list and won an ESPY Award for Best Female Olympian in 2014

Christopher Perdue (Osgood, Indiana) Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, Minn.)
·        Competed in the 2017 Winter World Games in Austria and took home gold in the Advanced Giant Slalom Event

·        First started at Special Olympics at Indiana’s Winter Games in Lawrenceburg

·        Is also involved in basketball, track and field, softball, bowling and powerlifting

·        Three-sport X Games athlete with the most adaptive gold medals in X Games history (eight between SnoCross Adaptive and Moto X Racing Adaptive)

·        Won SnoCross Adaptive every time he’s competed

·        Above-the-knee amputee who created his own knee and prosthetic leg to accommodate his activities

Anthony Davis (Springfield, Oregon) Jack Mitrani (Long Island, New York)
·        Participates in Special Olympics Aquatics and Golf in addition to snowboarding

·        Earned several medals at the Special Olympics Winter Games at Mt. Bachelor

·        Trains with his Special Olympics Oregon team at Willamette Pass

·        Has been snowboarding for seven years and competing with Special Olympics for nine

·        Host of X Games Aspen 2018

·        Snowboarder, entrepreneur, filmmaker, music festival producer and aspiring musician

·        Co-owner and producer of Frendly Gathering music festival

·        Graduate of Stratton Mountain School

 

 

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Contacts:
Olivia Wilson, ESPN Communications, 213-304-1919, [email protected]
Danny Chi, ESPN Communications, 310-500-5699, [email protected]
Megan Gausemel, Special Olympics Communications, 202-824-0244, [email protected]