A lot can be achieved in 12 months—just ask Special Olympics E stonia athlete Kaarel Hermaküla. Despite only making his Special Olympics skiing debut in 2017, 13-year-old Kaarel is now an international competitor who recently participated at the Special Olympics European cross-country skiing competitions!
Kaarel was among the 120 athletes from 11 countries who descended on Otepää, Estonia for the competition. They took on various races as well as some thrilling relays! Kaarel was delighted to come fourth place in the 500 m skiing competition.
His dad, actor and Special Olympics Estonia ambassador, Hannes Hermaküla was on the sidelines cheering him on all the way! The event—which was supported by the European Union as part of Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 funding—concluded with an awards ceremony where athletes took centre stage. The attendance of Prime Minister of Estonia Mr. Juri Ratas, along with cabinet ministers, added to the prestige of the evening.
Here is a video by Special Olympics Estonia volunteer Johanna Eliise capturing Special Olympics European cross-country skiing competition in Estonia.