The 2017 Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports/Sugarbush Special Olympics Alpine Race Team and the Vermont Adaptive volunteer coaches. Chittenden SO team joined in too! Photo courtesy of Ellen Riley.

The Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (VASS)/Sugarbush Alpine Race Team competed at the 2017 Special Olympics Winter Games on March 4 and 5 at Suicide Six in S. Pomfret.

Ten athletes from the team competed in slalom, giant slalom (GS) and super-G events: Phillip Kellem, Christopher Riley and Grace Kirpan of Moretown, Tommy Johnson of Warren, Nick Zecchinelli and Gabe Terran of Montpelier, Josh Bartold of East Montpelier, Justin McQuiston of Williston, Lelia Volmer of Craftsbury, and Jesse Campbell of Shelburne. Bennett Townely of Williston and Melisa Lansky of Waterbury were unable to compete.

Competing in advanced Division III: Kellem won bronze in slalom and silver in GS and super-G; Johnson won silver in slalom and bronze in GS and super-G; Bartold placed fourth in slalom and bronze in GS and super-G; and competing for the first time on the advanced course, in Division IV, Riley won ribbons in slalom and GS and placed fourth in super-G.

Competing on the advanced intermediate course, in Division IV, McQuiston placed fifth in slalom, won gold in GS and silver in super-G.

Competing on the intermediate course, in their respective divisions: Kirpan placed fifth in GS and sixth in slalom; Terran won silver in slalom and bronze in GS and super-G; Volmer placed sixth in slalom, won silver in GS and gold in super-G; Campbell, competing this year for the first time on the intermediate course, placed fourth in slalom, received a ribbon in GS and won bronze in super-G.

In the tethered intermediate division, Zecchinelli won gold in slalom.

The athletes and parents thanked team organizer Henry Erickson, head course coach and Vermont Adaptive volunteer Norm Staunton, Vermont Adaptive program director at Sugarbush Mount Ellen Olivia Joseph, Vermont Adaptive interns at Mt. Ellen Kristen, Bradon and Emily, and the many Vermont Adaptive volunteers who individually coached the athletes all season.

The team wishes also to thank Sugarbush for their continued generosity and support.

For more information about Vermont Adaptive and for information on how to become a volunteer, visit or call Olivia Joseph, program director at Sugarbush North, 802-343-1193, or Vermont Adaptive office headquarters at 802-786-4991.