Special Olympics Kentucky has nominated a pair of skiers to the Special Olympics USA team for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will be held March 14-25, 2017, in Austria.
Kelly McCormick of Louisville and Patrick Tutsch of Lexington were selected to represent Kentucky as part of the USA team at the Games.
Tutsch, 34, will be making his first ever appearance in the World Games when he gets to Austria. He has been a Special Olympics athlete for 20 years in Michigan and Kentucky and has been involved in alpine skiing the entire time. He also competes in basketball, bowling, golf, softball and track and field. In addition, Tutsch is a Special Olympics Global Messenger who has received special public speaking training and speaks on behalf of his fellow athletes at events and to community groups. He works at Bob Evans in Nicholasville.
Patrick is the son of Dennis and Chris Tutsch, now living in Michigan, and the grandson of Chuck Tutsch of Martin.
Both McCormick and Tutsch qualified to be nominated to the Special Olympics USA team by claiming gold medals at the 2016 Special Olympics Kentucky State Winter Games, which were held Jan. 23-25 at Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Tutsch won both the slalom and giant slalom at the Advanced Plus level for the second consecutive year.
The 2017 World Winter Games will bring together more than 3,000 Special Olympics athletes from more than 100 countries. The Games will take place in four cities in central Austria; Graz, Schladming, Ramsau and Styria. The skiing competition will be held in Schladming, which holds the distinction of also hosting part of the first Special Olympics World Games ever held outside the United States.