Four area athletes to compete in Special Olympics

Michael LaBreque, 28, will leave Thursday with three teammates to compete in his first Special Olympics World Games.

"I'm very proud to be a part of Team USA," the Carson City man said.

LaBreque won gold at the qualifying competition in snowshoeing at Kirkwood last February. He and Colleen Stainbrook, also of Carson City, will move on to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, beginning Saturday.

Shawn Stainbrook, of Carson City, and Erin Loveless, of Reno, qualified in the cross-country skiing competition.

Every four years, thousands of athletes from around the world gather to compete in winter sports at the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics serves about 2.8 million people with intellectual disabilities in 180 countries.

Although LaBreque has been involved with Special Olympics for about eight years, this is his first year competing in snowshoeing. He will run the 200 meters, the 400 meters and participate in the 400-meter relay.

"It's a lot of power," he said. "I like it because it's good exercise. You're actually getting out there and running in the snow. It's fun."

Colleen Stainbrook won a gold medal in the 400-meter walk in the 2007 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Shanghai, China. Shawn Stainbrook has competed in the world games twice before.

"I love it," LaBreque said. "I love being with my friends and competing and seeing new people."

- Contact reporter Teri Vance at or 881-1272.


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