Glenwood Springs Special Olympians set to race at X Games in Aspen
Two Challenge Aspen ski and snowboard athletes from Glenwood Springs, Matthew Boyles and Tanner Jadwin, are slated to compete on the international stage at Aspen’s ESPN X Games on Friday.
Boyles, who snowboards, and Jadwin, a skier, are set to race head-to-head with other Special Olympians at the Unified Snowboard and Ski races Friday afternoon.
The event pairs Special Olympics athletes with an X Games veteran to race as a team and produce a combined score.
As of Thursday, Jadwin was paired to ski alongside Ski Superpipe athlete David Wise, and Boyles is to team up with Snowboard Slopestyle athlete Dusty Henricksen, said Deb Sullivan, REC Program director for Challenge Aspen.
Both Wise and Henricksen are past X Games gold medal winners.
Spectators can watch the competition from the base of Buttermilk starting at 2:30 p.m., or stream the competition through X Games or ESPN Apps. In-person spectators are required to have proof of vaccination and wear a mask while at the events venue.
Jadwin and Boyles are both clients of Mountain Valley Developmental Services in Glenwood Springs, Sullivan said.
Jadwin, 28, has been training with Challenge Aspen for eight years and learned to ski through Challenge Aspen’s programs at Snowmass.
“He is known for carving big, fast turns,” Sullivan said in a news release.
Boyles, 35, has been snowboarding for 17 years and has won several medals while competing in Special Olympics and NASTAR events during that time. He has trained with Challenge Aspen’s coaching staff for five years.
Both athletes participate in Challenge Aspen’s Locals Program, which provides regularly scheduled social and sporting opportunities throughout the Roaring Fork Valley “to ensure inclusivity and outdoor access for locals with disabilities,” the release states.
Unified Sports breaks down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities and promotes social inclusion and participation through athletics, Sullivan said.
“I am thrilled that two of our athletes are participating at X Games this year,” she said. “We have made a special trip to Buttermilk each year with a group of local athletes to watch Special Olympics athletes race, and it’s always a highlight of our season.”
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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