This story was taken with permission from Special Olympics Maryland Howard County’s March newsletter.
We are highlighting Toby in our March newsletter. We asked Toby’s mom for some information about why Toby decided to try snowshoeing this year. Here is her response which is really great.
“Toby said people should try snowshoeing because it helps your legs to become stronger, you lose weight faster, and meet or become reacquainted with friends.
Toby decided to try a new sport because he wanted to see how it would feel to try something new. He said it was realllly cool! (big smile!)
He said it was really fun. Everyone laughed and had a good time at practice, especially when we would play Sharks and Minnows during practice – similar to playing Tag. Everyone was very supportive of Toby during his first season of Snowshoe – positively encouraging him throughout the season.
He’s typically not a morning person, but he set his alarm to be up in time for practice on Sunday mornings at beautiful Centennial Park. He never wanted to miss a practice – Thursday nights and Sunday mornings.
We will never forget the State Games at Whitetail Ski Resort. Even though there wasn’t much snow, they made it happen for us. Toby was proud to win three gold medals – one each for the 50 meter, 100 meter, 200 meter; as well as a silver medal for the 4X100 Traditional Relay. We were pleasantly surprised at his ambition, athletic drive and motivation to continue competing even with a blister on his foot! Coach Jeremy was impressed! An added bonus for Toby was to realize that one of his former babysitters happen to be one of the policewomen who presented him with a gold medal! They agreed to go see the “Power Rangers” movie together when it comes out later this month.
Toby also enjoyed eating with the other athletes and teams at the Whitetail Marketplace eatery for a free lunch. He doesn’t usually like attending dances but wanted to dress up for the Athletes Dinner & Mardi Gras dance on the first night of the State Games. As parents, Erik and I enjoyed a date night! Coach Janet and the other coaches and volunteers did an amazing job at making Toby feel safe, a part of the team and comfortable being there independently with them. When I picked him up from the dance he was wearing a Mardi Gras mask he was given! He was surprised to see an old friend on the Eastern Shore Special Olympics Alpine Skiing team.
We noticed an increase in Toby’s self esteem and confidence after his Snowshoe experience. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Special Olympics of Howard County for providing Toby with the snowshoes and uniform jacket and cap for him to wear during the season.
We hope to see you next season!
Toby, Marianne & Erik Doremus”
This article was written by Special Olympics Maryland