Two Special Olympics athletes prefer skating over the competition

Published: Jan. 9, 2018 at 7:49 AM CST
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The Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games are two days across Dubuque, with events ranging from snowshoeing, skiing and ice skating.

For 30 years combined, two skaters at the games fell in love with the ice, and keep coming back year after year.

The Mystique Community Ice Center is usually home to the Dubuque Fighting Saints. But temporarily, it is home to the Special Olympics and its longtime competitors.

Donna Prosser said this is her tenth year competing, but she's been skating since she was 15 years old.

Jason Halkias said this is his 13th year as an ice skater, his sixth as a figure skater.

They have their own unique reasons for why they love to compete.

"The jumps," said Prosser. "And to see how fast I can go and to be Evil Knievel on the ice."

"Even though I also compete in other events in other places, this is my favorite and to me, this is my favorite time of the year," said Halkias.

Whether it be a speed skater turned figure skater like Halkias or someone with a longtime idol.

"I've loved it since I was 15," said Prosser. "And, I mean I used to watch Dorothy Hamill."

Jason and Donna who are competing at the Special Olympics say there is just a special feeling about being here, sharing the ice in Dubuque.

"It's actually fitting," Halkias said. "We're at Mystique; there's a little Mystique about Dubuque and I don't know what it is. But that's why I love coming here."

"It's just really, really, enjoying, when you can do something that you know that some people don't have the ability to do," Prosser said.