“It means a lot to me to show America how hard I’ve worked to develop my skiing ability so that I can represent my country,” shared Rebecca Robinson, 2017 Special Olympics World Games athlete. Becky, as her teammates call her, is one of four Massachusetts athletes representing the United States at World Games in Austria in March. When told she was going, “I felt excited but it took a while for me to realize that I was really going and what an honor it was.”
Receiving such an honor does not come without practice and preparation. Robinson’s serious training began last summer when she, along with teammate Chris O’Neil, attended a national ski training camp at Mount Hood in Oregon. There, she was able to learn from and train with, skiers from around the country. Since then, Robinson has been training off the slopes by attending early morning boot camp classes twice a week, and cross training with yoga and lap swimming . In mid-December, she joined the other members of the Special Olympics World Games team in Killington, Vermont for the World Team training camp. While there Robinson not only got to meet the other members of the alpine ski team, but also, “had some great ski training” as well. After training camp Robinson began hitting the slopes regularly. In addition to training with her race team in Nashoba, she attends ski practices at Mount Wachusett in Princeton, MA and Gunstock Mountain in Guilford, NH, as well as race training at Mount Sunapee in Newbury, NH.
In order to see how far Robinson has come you have to see where she started. Robinson began skiing at the young age of three. For the next fifteen years she skied only occasionally, until she was eighteen and joined the Nashoba Shooting Stars Special Olympics Massachusetts race team. It was then that Robinson realized how much she loved skiing and racing. In thinking of applying for World Games she said, “I love to race for fun and to do my best. It will be a new experience and give me a chance to ski in the Alps with people from around the world.”
Being surrounded by so much positivity is part of what pushed Robinson to this level. For Robinson, her co-workers, teammates, family and friends are such a positive force. “When I told my co-workers at my job that I was going to World Games they were very excited. Many people from my workplace, my Dad’s office, my family, my coaches and teammates have all been very excited and supportive of me. My teammate Chris O’Neil and his family have also been really awesome!”
Having the support of her friends and family means everything to Robinson. That’s why she’s so excited to share her first time out of the country and first time competing a Special Olympics World games with her family. “My parents, older sister, and brother will be going. I like to have them cheering for me.” She’s also interested in spending time in the Olympic Village and the town of Schladming. “I want to take everything in and enjoy some social time with my team. I’m also looking forward to watching the other Alpine racers.” With all these firsts it’s hard not to look ahead to how this experience will change Robinson. When asked that question she sums it up by saying, “After skiing in the Alps, I think I will feel confident skiing anywhere. I think I will feel like I made a big accomplishment, even if I don’t win a medal. In the end I want to feel like I have done my best and had a great time!”
Congratulations to Rebecca Robinson, 2017 Special Olympics World Games athlete!
Be sure to follow all of the coverage from Austria on ESPN and ABC:
ESPN’s Groundbreaking Coverage of Special Olympics World Winter Games Begins March 18 From Austria