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Kelly Rice of Madison, at right, completes an interview after selection to skate in the Special Olympics Winter World Games 2021 in Sweden. Elizabeth Allen of Harvest and Deeb Habchi of Madison also earned bids to the Winter World Games. CONTRIBUTED/WHNT-TV News

Allen, Habchi and Rice earn bids to Special Olympics Winter World Games

MADISON, HARVEST – Two young adults from Madison and one from Harvest have qualified to represent the United States in the 2021 Special Olympics Winter World Games in Sweden.

Deeb Habchi and Kelly Rice, both of Madison and alumni of Madison City Schools, and Elizabeth Allen of Harvest and an alumnae of Madison County Schools, received their invitation letters to the Winter World Games during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

These athletes participate with the Alabama Special Olympics Skating Team, according to WHNT-TV News.

“Beth Allen and Deeb Habchi are going as level one and then Kelly is a level four,” head coach Heidi Parker said to WHNT. Parker described the scenario as “exceptional” for three of her students to receive the nominations.

“For these three athletes, they get the opportunity of a lifetime,” Parker said to WHNT.

Similar to the standard Winter Olympics, the Winter World Games for Special Olympics will include an opening ceremony, the actual competitions and closing ceremony during television coverage. “The experience will be one to remember for these athletes,” Parker said to WHNT.

“They’ll stay in the athlete’s village. They will have all their meals and things of that nature, and then they will also get to go do a little sightseeing while they are in Sweden as a team,” Parker said to WHNT.

While 2021 may seem like the distant future, Parker said the ice skaters will waste no time in preparing and completing extra practices. “They will practice all through the summer and into next winter just fine tuning all of their elements and their programs,” Parker said to WHNT.

In February 2020, Allen, Habchi and Rice will depart from Alabama to attend camp in Colorado to train with Team USA. When team trials are complete in February, the skaters will learn the finalists that judges have selected for the national team.

For more information, visit Facebook/ Alabama Special Olympics Skating Team.

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