After 44 years of competing and participating in various Special Olympics Michigan events, Midland County athlete Jim Bernard was awarded the 2018 Rick VanderSloot Winter Sports Award during the Special Olympics Winter Games Opening Ceremonies at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme on Wednesday, January 31.
Jim maintains a "can-do" attitude and a "never-quit" philosophy by training diligently in many sports, which include: cross-country skiing, aquatics, basketball, Unified golf, soccer, bowling, athletics and walking, with cross-country skiing being his favorite sport to compete in.
Jim joined Special Olympics Michigan in 1973 at 12 years old. With Jim being a veteran athlete, his advice to his fellow athletes is to, "just try hard and have a good time."
"Jim is a true sportsman. He knows that winning is not everything - either in competition or life," said Mary Adams, Director of Area 30, "Jim does not give up easily and truly feels that nothing is impossible if he tries."