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Neighbors of DuPage

SEASPAR athletes ski for gold at Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games

Feb 19, 2017 12:38PM ● By Ben Scott

SEASPAR’s athletes pose with the Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games snow torch. From left to right: Michael Drabik, William Porch, and Michael Duffy.

Athletes trained by the South East Association for Special Parks And Recreation (SEASPAR) earned gold medals at the Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games in Galena, Ill. February 8-10.

The Special Olympics Winter Games is one of nine state sports competitions, and the final state competition for Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, and Snowshoeing events. Approximately 375 athletes competed at the event at Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, Ill.

Michael Duffy of Westmont earned a gold medal in the Alpine Skiing Super G (downhill) event, and took fourth place in the Giant Slalom event. His ongoing training has paid off; in 2016, Duffy took bronze in the Super G event and fifth place in the Giant Slalom. Duffy was honored in 2016 as the SEASPAR Athlete of the Year.

William Porch of Westmont and Michael Drabik of Woodridge represented SEASPAR in the Cross Country Skiing competition. Porch earned a gold medal for the fifth straight year in the 500M event, making up a minute in time to overtake the silver medalist by a ski length. Porch also earned a silver medal in the 1K event.

Michael Drabik earned a gold medal in the Cross Country Skiing 50M event and a silver medal in the 100M event. This was Drabik’s first Winter Games competition.

SEASPAR trains athletes for Special Olympics competitions in alpine skiing, aquatics, athletics (track and field), basketball, bocce, bowling, cross country skiing, flag football, floor hockey, golf, gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, softball, snowshoeing, tennis, and volleyball. SEASPAR’s athletes compete in Special Olympics events throughout the year.

For more information about SEASPAR’s Special Olympics program or other recreational programs and services for individuals with disabilities, visit or call 630-960-7600.