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Cross-country Gold Medalist Turned Floorball Player

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Danel Pärtelpoeg’s best game to date was against Croatia. Estonia won 10:1.

Danel Pärtelpoeg has a particular claim to fame, even among all the participants at the Special Olympics Winter World Games: the Estonian floorball player has been a medalist in another sport altogether. 

Four years ago, Pärtelpoeg won two gold medals and a bronze in cross-country disciplines at the Special Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Gold came in the 5km and a relay race which saw each athlete ski 1km. His bronze was won in the 2.5km discipline. 

The 19-year-old switched to floorball for a simple reason. "I went to a cross-country skiing competition in Otepää [Estonia's winter capital] but a friend was a bit faster than me, the difference was about five seconds," he said. 

Only the top three made it to the cross-country team but Pärtelpoeg, who plays floorball at physical education classes in school, is still happy to be in Austria. He relishes the fun of playing floorball with friends and teamwork.

About Me:

Henry Rull covers the Special Olympics World Winter Games as a member of the AIPS Young Reporters Programme, which is funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ programme.


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