2013 Special Olympics Team USA Snowshoers Head to Korea for 10th World Winter Games

Redfeather_logoThe Winter Games, being held January 29th through February 5th, will feature 151 USA athletes competing against other Special Olympics athletes from around the world.  Team USA will compete in Alpine Skiing Cross Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey and, of course, Snowshoeing.

More than four million Special Olympics athletes train and compete in more than 170 nations across the globe.

This year, thanks to the efforts of Rose Jones and Maggie Dittburner, many of the USA Special Olympics Snowshoe Team members will be competing in Redfeather Snowshoes.

“It all started with just a telephone call and conversation with Maggie Dittburner,” said Jones, who leads the Customer Service team at Redfeather Snowshoes in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Dittburner is the Central Regional Manager of Sports Training for Special Olympics Illinois, and she was looking for American made snowshoes for the USA Special Olympics Illinois snowshoe racers. “We’ve got a bit of a soft spot in our hearts for people with disabilities, and so we put together a special program for her.”

Word spread of that special program from Redfeather, and soon the Redfeather Snowshoe phone lines were buzzing with calls from parents and coaches of Special Olympics athletes from all over the country.  “We were, and are, very honored that they called, and so glad that we could outfit team members.” Jones said.

That “soft spot” in Redfeather’s heart that Jones refers to comes naturally.  Redfeather Snowshoes is a division of ORC Industries in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to “enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities through employment opportunities.”  And a part of that employment opportunity is making Redfeather Snowshoes. 75 percent of ORC Industries’ work force consists of people with a mental or physical disability.  In addition to providing gainful employment, ORC Industries also provides nutritional counseling, pre-vocational training, vocational rehabilitation, wellness training, daily life skills training, and outplacement services.

Whether it’s making Redfeather Snowshoes at ORC or running in them for Team USA at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, it appears that ORC Industries has had an impact on a variety of very special people.

3 thoughts on “2013 Special Olympics Team USA Snowshoers Head to Korea for 10th World Winter Games

  1. I am a 2013 World Winter Games snow shoe coach. In reading your article it indicates many of the USA Special Olympic snow shoe team members will be using Redfeather snow shoes. We had 17 snow shoe athletes at our training camp in December and as I recall there were very few who had Redfeather snow shoes. Was Redfeather going to provide snow shoes for our athletes? A lot of our athletes had older, heavier snow shoes. I spoke with our Head snow shoe Coach and they knew nothing of this. Thanks for your reply

    • This was a Redfeather press release, so it somewhat slanted to their brand. I’m sure there are options available to the team, but it’s really a question for Team USA. Thanks!

  2. Hey, David! Thanks for the comments. Redfeather Snowshoes is not giving away snowshoes, but Redfeather is offering a special deal to Special Olympics snowshoe runners nationwide. Sorry the word didn’t get to you, but you can take advantage of this special offer by giving us a call at 1-800-525-0081. We also offer Pro Deals, too, to snowshoe pros, which include the Redfeather Vapor, voted Best Running Snowshoe of the Year by Backpacker Magazine. We would enjoy working something out with regard to the athletes competing in the World Games. Absolutely!!

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