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A farmhouse sits just off the road after you travel approximately five miles on a dusty gravel road in extreme northern Ray County. Not exactly the place where you would expect to find an Olympic skier. However, 26-year-old Tim Jenkins isn’t just a skier.
Jenkins will be one of two Missourians making their way to Pyeongchang, South Korea to compete in the Special Olympic World Winter Games in January.
Tim is the youngest son of Roxane and Dennis Gardner of rural Lawson. Dennis works at the Veterans Clinic in Cameron and Roxane works at AT&T in Lee’s Summit.
Tim will be one of 50 athletes from the United States making their way to the east of Seoul, the capital of South Korea for the Winter Games. Jenkins began competing in the Special Olympics at the age of 6, and just recently began participating in the winter games held in Weston.
“He really likes to compete in sports and the winter games came along about five or six years ago up at Weston and we decided to try out,” Roxane said.
In addition to skiing, Tim competes throughout the year in several sports including bowling, bocce, swimming, track and field, tennis and horseback riding.
Roxane said Missouri had one opening for a skier and one for a figure skater this year to make the trip to Korea. Jenkins claimed the spot in skiing and Mystie Lucast of St. Joseph will compete on ice after competing against athletes from the Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa area. Jenkins, who works at Ideal Industries in Richmond, thought he would give skiing a try.
“It’s something different,” he said. “We usually go out to Colorado and I skied out there and started to like it.”