Kristen Milstead

Athlete • Mooresville, NC • Alpine Skiing

Kristen Milstead has been competing in Special Olympics for the past 15 years. She has competed in bowling, swimming, gymnastics, and currently competes in sailing and alpine skiing.

She has won numerous gold medals and she has also won some awards during school. Kristen loves to spend time on the lake. You can find her swimming or sailing in her free time. She also loves to go on walks with her dog named splash, after her love for water.

She will train for Alpine skiing at the Appalachian ski mountain in North Carolina. She also trains with her coach every week in preparation for the world games and just for fun. She is very excited to race with her new purple ski boots, since purple is her favorite color.

Milstead takes classes at Mitchell Community College and works at McDonald's.

In a recent interview with Statesville Free News, Kristen's mother, Kris, said, "When we found out she had this opportunity, it was no question, we were going."

“My husband and I are skiiers,” Kris said. “We went on a skiing trip and took Kristen. She was a little apprehensive about skiing and about getting on and off the lifts. We put her in a ski school and she got a little more comfortable. Then we learned some friends skied with the Iredell County Special Olympics, so she got involved with that.”

Following Special Olympics USA training camp in December in Vermont, Kristen moved up from the “novice” to “intermediate” level.

“We are so proud of her for all the great improvement she’s made,” Kris said.

“Kristen was born premature and she wore a heart monitor for around a year,” Kris said. “She was hypotonic. Her muscle tone was so low. We had to practice just for her to lift her head and roll over. In therapies, she was a very floppy baby. Every step from walking to talking was huge and involved a lot of therapy. We did all kinds of occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, we spent four to five days a week in therapy.

“Did I ever think she would be skiing in the Alps?” Kris said. “Well, no. It was neat to watch at the regional event, our Special Olympics athletes ski better than over 50 percent of the people on the slopes. Even if they didn’t have any kind of disability, they are so good. I’m very impressed.”

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