Cedar Vance

Athlete • Whitefish, MT • Alpine Skiing

Cedar Vance first became involved with Special Olympics in high school and at the age of 26 she continues to let Special Olympics help her flourish into an outgoing and communicative individual.

Over the years she has participated in multiple sports throughout the seasons such as: alpine skiing, horseback riding, basketball, and track and field. Cedar has other interests and activities that she participates in outside of Special Olympics.

She enjoys living on a ranch in Whitefish, Montana with her three dogs, two cats, three llamas, and her pet goldfish. She also rides horses, hangs out with her mom, naps, colors, sings, dances, listens to music, and plays basketball.

Not to mention she works at Special Olympics serving, selling raffle tickets, and giving out prizes. Her mother refers to her as a great “salesman” saying she can “get anybody to buy tickets.”

Medals and ribbons are not all Cedar has to show for her efforts in Special Olympics, although she does have a 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 8th ribbon and various metals. She has perseverance and a positive outlook on the games. “I never gave up in Special Olympics,” Cedar said.

The upcoming games have Cedar looking forward to spending time with her friends and teammates and her mother is looking forward to seeing her compete. “She’s very good at what she does. She’s my right hand woman,” said her mother.

“There are no strangers in Cedar’s world,” Vance’s longtime coach, Wendy Wheeler, said. Wheeler, a teacher’s aide at Whitefish Middle School, has been coaching Vance she since she was 9.

In a recent interview with "The Daily Inter Lake," Vance's longtime coach Wendy Wheeler said, "There are no strangers in Cedar's world."

“There isn’t a run (in skiing) she can’t do,” Wheeler said. “Competition is natural for her. She’s going to do great in Austria.

“She’s been a gift to me and one of my best teachers,” said her mother, Bobbi Hall said. “People who meet her feel the same. She is a blessing all of us can learn from.”

The article also mentions how Vance was a cheerleader in high school and an equestrian after being around horses her whole life while at her mother's ranch.

In the Special Olympics, she’s been a prolific competitor, excelling in pole bending, barrel racing, trail-class events and skiing.

In an article on KPAX.com, Vance said, "It doesn't matter win or lose, it doesn't matter big or small, just do your best."

Wheeler said she's more than ready to hit the slopes in Austria.

"Everything is going great, so she's ready," Wheeler said. "Her head, she's in it. Her head's in the game. ... She's going to be fabulous."

Vance added, "Hope, faith, belief in yourself and trust your teammates and don't let them down."

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