banner
Our Take

Special snowboarder gunning for world gold

Posted December 11, 2012

— The Triangle-area isn't well known for its mountains, but that hasn't stopped Zach Butler from developing a love for snowboarding.

The Raleigh native is in training for the 2013 Special Olympics World Games and he's getting plenty of help from a supportive community.

Butler is not a fan of early mornings, but when the alarm clock sounds, it’s time to work harder than the day before.

"It's the time, getting up early and coming here, it’s hard," Butler said. "It would mean a lot (to win gold) because I've done so much. This is a big opportunity for me."

Triangle athlete chasing world gold on the mountain Mitchell: Triangle athlete chasing world gold on the mountain

Butler is the first snowboarder from North Carolina to make it to this level at the Special Olympics. He will compete in the world games in January in South Korea.

Since the competition will be greater than ever at the world level, he's working out with a trainer for the first time in his life.

Bill Burniston, who runs Performance Academy in Raleigh, volunteers his time two days a week to get Butler ready

"How do you say no to Zach?” Burniston said. “He's such a hard worker and he's a pleasure to be around."

Burniston and Butler have been getting together in the early morning hours since July and have worked on specific muscles that will help with snowboarding.

"He did want to know if he was going to get a six-pack out of this,” Burniston admitted. “I was like, ‘we'll see.’"

Butler has been involved with Special Olympics since he was 8-years-old, but he's never enjoyed a sport quite as much as snowboarding. The continued attachment to the sport can be attributed to his coaches.

"He's really done so much for me - more than enough," Butler said.

Butler departed for Lake Placid, N.Y., Monday where he will spend a week dedicated to training. His support corner and his talent will get Butler a shot of a lifetime next month in South Korea.

"I'm pretty well hyped about it,” Butler said. “I won't know anything until it really hits me."

1 Comment

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • prez23062 Dec 12, 2012

    from a fellow snowboarder, good luck!

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • NASL: RailHawks at Indy Eleven

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Charlotte

    Today at 10:50 am on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Charlotte

    Tomorrow at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MLB: NY Yankees at NY Mets

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: RailHawks at Indy Eleven

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on 99.9 HD3 The Ticket

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
CHR 1
 
11:05am Today
DUR
CHR
 
Final
BOS 7
BAL 1
Final
PIT 2
CHC 5
Final
DET 2
NYY 1
Final
MIL 1
CIN 6
Final
CWS 4
CLE 3
Final
KAN 7
MIN 1
Final
COL 3
SDP 14
Final
ANA 3
OAK 6
Final
SEA 5
HOU 7
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CHC
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
MIA
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
CIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SDP
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
CHI 91
MIL 82
Final
GSW 97
NOP 87
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
TOR
WAS
 
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
 
Final
PIT 1
NYR 2
Final
MIN 3
STL 0
Final
WIN 4
ANA 5
7:00pm Tonight
DET
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
 
9:30pm Tonight
CHI
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
 
Final
DUR 5
CHR 1
 
11:05am Today
DUR
CHR