There is no secret to the decades long success of Payson Special Olympics athletes.
They simply outwork most of their competitors, practicing long and hard for SO events, whether it be a local competition or on a national stage.
Among those who put in the most hours are figure skaters Chrissy Wiley and Jacquelyn Karrys, who practice year-round in preparation for the SO state winter games.
The snowshoe team began practicing in December on the Payson High grass football field and competed at state on a similar field at Flagstaff Sinagua Middle School.
Adrianna Barnes, David Frohme, Teddy Hargrave, Tim Meeske, Shellee Marricle, Becky Radimaker, Travis Radimaker, Larry Graham and Stefani Weisert were on the snowshoe team that was coached by Ruby Lane and Jane McDonald.
“It was a great season,” said Lane.
Speed skaters Robby Gable and Jon Agent, who are coached by Ginger Liddell, also competed in Flagstaff.
With the winter sports season at an end, SO athletes have turned their attention to basketball skills, 3-on-3 basketball and track and field.
“Volunteers are always needed from 3:14 to 4:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Lane.
Call Becky Derwort at (928) 474-9142 to volunteer or for more information.