Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 11:32 AM on Monday, February 4, 2013

Local athlete takes bronze medal at world games

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

After competing in preliminaries last week, cross-country skier Kinna Ledger won a bronze medal at the 2013 Special Olympics World Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Ledger crossed the finish line of the 50-meter event with a time of 29.65

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The 22-year-old Ledger is one of four Alaska athletes on the 151-member Team USA. Since finding out last spring that she would be competing, Ledger has trained locally with Lake Brown. Cheering her on at the games are her mother, Susie Ledger, aunt Dana Snyder of Oregon and Brown.

Other Alaskans on Team USA are Bryan Knight and Misty Cunitz, alpine skiers from Anchorage, and Paul Standen, a showshoer from Wasilla. Standen also scored a bronze medal in a 100M event with a time of 39.84 seconds.

"The Games have been incredibly exciting for everyone involved, and the excitement will continue over the next few days as competition continues," said Team USA's snowboarding coach, April Ney. "The athletes' sense of pride for one's self and country, the camaraderie and the determination of the athletes can be felt in the hearts of everyone in attendance at the Games."

Jim Balamaci, president and CEO of Special Olympics Alaska also is in South Korea for the games.

"South Korea is putting these games on beyond our expectations," said Balamaci. "The athletes are competing in world-class venues and our Alaskan athletes are having an experience of a lifetime."

Ledger is an employee in the Homer Senior Citizens dining room.

"We have something to be so very proud of," said Keren Kelley, HSC executive director.

A welcome-home party is being planned for Ledger at the Senior Center at 1 p.m. on Feb. 14, "welcoming her home, congratulating her on all the hard work and exciting news," said Kelley.

For updates and photos, visit Special Olympics Alaska on Facebook. To track the results for Ledger and other athletes, visit www.specialolympics.org/Games/2013_World_Winter_Games.aspx and enter athlete's name or bib number name in "schedule and results by athlete."