For 41 year-old Michael Holdsworth, a trip to the Special Olympics World Winter Games is not a new experience. The Special Olympics Wellington athlete was part of the New Zealand delegation to the World Winter Games in Austria in 1993, where he achieved a 4th and 5th placing for alpine skiing.
“I really enjoyed going to the last World Winter Games in Austria,” Michael says. “I got to meet people from all over the word and had lots of fun. It is an honour to be selected to represent my country again and I’m looking forward to seeing how Austria has changed between 1993 and now.”
Michael has a long history with Special Olympics, and first became involved with the Wellington Club in 1989.
“I’ve skied with my family and with Special Olympics for a long time, and went to the first Special Olympics ski camp in the South Island in 1992. I really enjoy the skills involved in skiing,” Michael says.
Michael says he’ll be hard at work training up until the Games, and is hoping to improve on his performance at the 1993 Games.
“I’ll be training at the gym two days a week, swimming with Special Olympics and by myself and going to the Lower North Island ski camp in August. I’m hoping for a medal this time but most of all I want to support the rest of the team.”