Oct. 09, 2017

Superfresh Growers Sponsors Virginia Wade, Special Olympic Skier

In the winter of 2016, Superfresh Growers® announced their sponsorship of Virginia Wade, Alpine Ski Racer, for the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 in Austria. This vibrant, bubbly, and determined athlete turned 16 months before the Winter Games began. As one of the younger athletes, Virginia represented one of two Washington women competing for the United States in the World Games.

Special Olympics “is a worldwide movement that establishes a new world of inclusion and community, where each individual is accepted and included, irrespective of their abilities or disabilities. As the biggest international sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics worldwide offers all-year-round training and competition opportunities in 32 different Olympic disciplines for more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries,” according to the Special Olympics World Games website.

Virginia was selected to join the U.S. Women’s Alpine Racing Team for the World Special Olympics after winning multiple medals for the Skyhawks Racing Team based in Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. Virginia competed in giant slalom and super-G courses at the World Games.

In the months leading up to the Winter Games, Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Superfresh Growers Communications Manager, met with Virginia on the slopes of the White Pass ski area in Washington State. Virginia told Catherine about her December training trip to Vermont with the U.S. Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team. She recapped her favorite parts, including making friends from the ski and snowboard teams. Hot cocoa remains a favorite part of skiing for Virginia; she loves warming up after a long cold day on the mountain.

“Virginia has always worked hard to do her best, but ultimately, her goal is to have a good time,” says Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communications Manager for Superfresh Growers. “I’ve known Virginia for over ten years, and it’s been a true joy watching her grow into the smart, strong, and beautiful young woman she is today. I remember skiing with her when she was just seven years old. She would laugh it off if she made a mistake and keep going. The glass is always half-full for Virginia.”

“Sponsoring Virginia on her Olympic journey aligns with the Superfresh culture, which is about working hard and being the best you can be,” says President of Superfresh Growers Robert Kershaw. “We prioritize healthy employees, encouraging lunch-hour exercise with trained fitness professionals. The Kershaw family also has a deep history of supporting children through Children’s Village, meeting the needs of children who require special health care, and Madison House Youth Center, which offers an after-school and summer haven for Yakima youth.”

The Superfresh sponsorship for Virginia has covered the “behind the scenes” costs to help support her family, from gear and goggles to flights and accommodations for her whole family to be her cheerleading squad in Austria.