2 Athletes to Represent Wyoming in Special Olympics World Winter Games
Wyoming will be represented by two incredible athletes during the Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will be held in Kazan Russia on January 22-25.
Julie Huber and Breyer Faddis were both nominated to represent Wyoming in the Winter Games, and both will put their skills to the test in various competitions. Fadis will be competing in snow-shoeing, while Huber will be competing in alpine skiing.
Huber has been skiing since she was 5 years old, according to her brother, Chris. This isn't her first time representing Wyoming in the world games, either. Earlier in her life, she competed in gymnastics as well.
Jen Haines, the CEO of Special Olympics Wyoming said that it's an honor for Huber to represent them in the World Games.
"Julie has been involved with Special Olympics for many, many years," Haines stated. "She is just a phenomenal gal. Anybody that has met Julie knows that she's got a heart of gold and is just such an amazing lady. So it's really awesome for her to be able to represent Special Olympics Wyoming over in Russia for the World Games."
While it is an honor, each Special Olympics competitor does still have to pay their own way.
"The goal per athlete to go to Russia is $8,000" Chris stated. "That pays for the uniforms and the coaching, training, airfare, and all of that."
To help offset those costs, Special Olympics Wyoming is hoding a 'Night Out Fundraiser' for both competitors.
The fundraiser is happening Saturday, July 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Casper Elks Lodge. There's going to be a buffet dinner, prepared by Chris Huber himself (who happens to be a chef) that will consist of marinated pork tenderloin and BBQ beef, as well as baked beans, pasta salad, Greek salad, Coleslaw, and more.
In addition to the buffet, there will be live music, live and silent auctions, a 50.50 raffle and more. Tickets are $20 per person and all proceeds go to benefit both Huber and Faddis.
Chris is extremely proud of his sister, and he tries to support her as much as he can. He's even called Huber his hero.
"The best way to describe Julie being nominated is that it's an incredible honor," he said. "It's just overwhelming. I know what my physical capabilities are, as opposed to her capabilities and challenges, and I feel exceedingly proud of her accomplishments and I try to do everything I can to help promote her and support her."
Both Huber and Faddis have tremendous support from their family and friends, but they also have support from the Special Olympics Organization itself.
"It's such an amazing opportunity for our athletes," Haines beamed. "They had to medal in state competition to be considered for a nomination to the world games and for them to have performed at such a high level on the state end of things, and then be representatives for their peers and other athletes within Special Olympics - it's just an amazing honor. And I'm sure that our two nominees from Wyoming are very proud and will represent the state very well."
Huber certainly intends to. And though she said she's most looking forward to seeing her friends, her team, and her coaches, she does still have a little bit of a competitive side. Still, Huber recognizes this opportunity and she wants to use it as an example to show others that they should follow their dreams, despite whatever perceived limitations they may have.
"Be happy, be proud, smile, and love," she said.
Those are words that all of us could live by.
The Special Olympics Wyoming 2022 World Winter Games Night Out Fundraiser is being held Saturday, July 17, 2021 at the Casper Elks Lodge from 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m. For more information, or to donate in other ways, visit the Special Olympics Wyoming website.