TST BOCES student Kinsey Henry will have the amazing opportunity later this month to compete in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. Henry will represent the USA in Women’s Snowshoeing as she competes in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay race events. The opening ceremony will take place Saturday, March 18th and the games will run through Friday March 24th. The Groton student also attends the Career Exploration Program at TST BOCES.
Teacher Rocky Baughman was one of the people who helped Henry get involved in the Special Olympics. “[Kinsey] seemed to love the competition and was opening up and making friends with a lot of other athletes,” Baughman said. “She won the admiration of her coaches and fellow athletes. I am so proud of the gracious, caring, helpful, strong young woman she has become.”
She has been participating in a number of different events through Special Olympics for about five years.
“Kinsey’s self-esteem has soared,” said counselor Laura May, speaking about the benefits of her participation in Special Olympics. “Her social and communication skills have really blossomed. Her willingness to try new things and to meet new people has increased dramatically.”
Two years ago, while looking for an event to do in the wintertime, Henry decided to start snowshoeing because it seemed well suited to her athleticism and her affinity for running. That turned out to be true, and she won a gold medal in the event at a statewide competition which in turn lead her to be selected for the World Games.
“I am absolutely thrilled that she has been chosen to go to the World Games,” Rocky Baugman said. “What an exciting opportunity for her and her family, something that very few people get to experience and something that will be a last memory for her lifetime.”
Most of the money to support local athletes comes from regional Special Olympics chapters. There will be fundraising efforts to help cover the costs of the trip, including the Freezin’ for a Reason polar plunge in Ithaca March 25. The effort to raise money on TST BOCES’ behalf for the polar plunge is being led by fellow Career and Tech Education student Eric Eastman. To help, visit www.polarplungeny.org/ithaca and donate to “Team Kinsey.” You can also support Kinsey Henry and donate to the Special Olympics by clicking here.