Mark Polaski, a 32-year Probation Case
Specialist at the Worcester County Probate & Family
Probation Department, took home two silver medals after
participating in ski events last week as part of the
Special Olympics held at Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort
"It was unreal, I can't
describe it. It was totally awesome," Polaski
said of his victory. "I am so happy and proud
and I can't wait until next year."
Polaski, who was born with cerebral palsy,
took home two silver medals. One was in the "glide" and
the second in the "super-glide" skiing
events. The glide is a straight downhill run and the
super-glide features a cross-cutting movement with
skis between poles set up as obstacles. Polaski was
one of 2,000 Special Olympians and coaches at the winter
games held in locations throughout Worcester County.
An exuberant Polaski accepted his medals
at a special ceremony attended by friends and family.
He first became a Special Olympian in 2003 at the encouragement
of his sister. Polaski has taken home two gold medals
and another one in silver over the past couple of years.
Polaski, who is nicknamed "Duke," was
especially happy with his performance this year. Last
year, he injured his leg two weeks before the competition
but competed anyway. He came in fourth when a pain
in his leg flared up and caused him to fall. Despite
this, he did not give up. When he fell and was unable
to ski the rest of the way, he crawled to the finish
This year, Polaski had many months of
training which he began during a heatwave in the summer
of 2005. He took his workout to the beach where he
walked along the coast line of Hampton Beach in New
Hampshire. Polaski also walked around his Worcester
neighborhood and took the stairs instead of the elevator
Polaski's friend Brad Cole, who
first introduced him to the sport of skiing eight years
ago, said, "Mark's love and passion for
skiing is an extension of his outlook on life. If we
could all do as well as Mark. I am proud he is my friend."