The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games might be more than nine months away, but that isn’t slowing down cross-country skier Sarah McCarthy, who says she’s already working hard with her coaches to secure a medal on the world stage.
“I didn’t think this is something I’d ever do,” said the Calgary-born athlete, who will be joining ten other athletes, coaches, and mission staff from Alberta at the 2017 Winter Games in Austria. “But I’ll work hard and do my best.”
“If I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
McCarthy’s journey with Special Olympics began 15 years ago, when she attended a swim meet to learn more about the organization.
“Someone told me about it,” she said. “[I had] no expectations, but I soon changed my mind.”
Today, McCarthy says joining the Special Olympics is “the best thing I ever did.”
“It feels great to be a part of Special Olympics,” she said. “I’m happy. I have many friends, am physically fit, and I belong. No one cares what I can or can’t do.”
When asked what she’s looking forward to most regarding the 2017 World Winter Games, McCarthy said, “having fun, meeting new people, and hopefully getting a medal.”
McCarthy is a well-rounded athlete who participates in both summer and winter sports. In addition to cross-country skiing, she is also involved in swimming, track, and powerlifting.
More than 3,000 athletes, 1,100 coaches, and 5,000 family members are expected to attend the 2017 Winter Games, which will run from March 14-25 in Austria. In addition to cross-country skiing, the competition will also see competitors in floorball, floor hockey, stick shooting, figure skating, speed skating, alpine skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, and snowshoeing.
For more information on the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games visit austria2017.org.