SPOKANE, Wash. - More than 3,000 athletes are getting ready to compete in the Special Olympic World Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea on January 29th. Among those athletes will be our very own Heather Comer from Spokane Valley.
Heather has been a Special Olympics athlete for 13 years and currently competes in Alpine Skiing, bowling and golf. She told us she has been skiing since was ten years old and has been competing in the Special Olympics since she was 16.
"I love skiing," Heather Comer said. "I'm doing downhill skiing, snow skiing."
This year at the Washington Special Olympics she won a gold medal, qualifying her for the World Winter Games in South Korea.
"I do have a lot of medals," Comer said. "I can't even count all of them."
However, she does not compete just for the medals.
"The best part is that you get to compete with your friends and family," Comer said.
Heather skis with her sister and her coaches every week with a program run by the Spokane Parks Department at Mt. Spokane. Head coach Roger Schramm says she skis better every year, but it is about more than just the competition.
"In fact, it is more about gaining self confidence and being able to enjoy something that they normally don't do," Schramm said. "It is really more that than even the actual skiing."
Heather is one of six athletes from Washington that will be competing at the World Winter Games against competitors from 112 countries.
"There's going to be a lot of people there and that's what makes me nervous, but also exciting at the same time," Comer said.
Her whole family will be with her in South Korea to watch her compete and cheer her on.