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Megha wins Gold at the Special Olympics

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indian_team_1.jpg14-year old Megha and 21-year old Shaivender Singh, both from Himachal Pradesh, put in medal-winning performances at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Idaho, USA.

Competing in the Alpine Novice Super G events in their respective gender categories, the two young athletes were lucky to complete their runs in good weather; and claimed Gold and Silver respectively; before a thick bout of rapidly descending fog put an early end to competition on Tuesday.

Megha, competing in division 2, easily beat her two opponents Lea Kranjc of Slove nia and Rebecca McGonagle of Ireland with a time of 43.71 seconds over the 250 meter distance at the Bogus Basin Mountain Resort.

megha_alpine_gold_2.jpgDescending from a height of 1900 meters, the Novice run involves a patient descent of just 25 meters over the quarter-kilometer distance.

Lea was able to complete the course in 48.43 seconds, almost five seconds behind the young Indian star. Rebecca was a full second further behind.

'Super G' - short for Super Giant Slalom - is a speed discipline in competitive alpine skiing, and involves racing through widely spaced gates with a few turns at speeds often in excess of 40kmph.

Megha would be especially delighted with her performance, considering she shaved off the better part of 12 seconds from her qualifying score which had left her in 2nd place after the preliminary divisioning round.

shavinder_alpine_silver_2.jpgIn the Men's Division 3 event, Shaivender Singh came in 2nd behind Vesko Vujacic of Montenegro with a time of 37.24 seconds to win the Silver medal. Shaivender was the favourite going into the finals, having secured top spot in the divisioning round with a time of 42.65. Vesko was marginally behind, completing the course in a time of 42.97 seconds.

However, in the practice round, Vesko charged ahead with a time of 37.32 seconds in comparison with Shaivender who managed a competent 40.57. In the final competitive run, Vesko did even better managing a time of 35.96 to secure the Gold.

Both competitors will also be participating in the finals of the Giant Slalom Novice event on Wednesday. In that event a couple of other Indians, Reena and Jewan Mishra will also be amongst the participants.

Meanwhile, the Women's Unified Floor Hockey team racked up an impressive 5-2 win over Honduras in the exhibition event. This was the second time the two teams have competed against each other in this double round robin league, with the first match on Monday ending in a 2-2 draw.

In the Snow Shoeing 50m race, Ruchika Shah narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing 4th in the division 6 event. Her compatriot Rijwan tried valiantly, but ended up in 7th place in division 10.

About The Special Olympics:

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training and athletic competition and other related programming for nearly 3 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 180 countries, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people's diverse gifts. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.

 The Special Olympics Oath:

                                                                        "Let me win
                                                                         But if I cannot win,
                                                                         Let me be brave in the attempt."



Photograph & Video Copyright: Special Olympics

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