13 Dec 2019 Distinguished Service Award Winners
At the Opening Ceremony at the 2019 State Basketball Tournament three Distinguished Service Award winners were announced, Coach of the Year, Spirit of Special Olympics and Athlete of the year. Congratulations to our winners and keep an eye out for more winner announcements throughout the year!
Coach of the Year- Dallas Skinner
Dallas is a Coach for the Bozeman Flames and has been with the team since 2012. Dallas has a really special relationship with his athletes, fellow coaches, and family members. He can be relied on all year to be there for his team and often comes with a joke and a good ribbing for someone.
Although soft-spoken this coach is competitive in all things. He sets his athletes up for success by running engaging, challenging and fun practices. This coach is certified in floor hockey, athletics, and basketball and is always learning new events and techniques to pass along to his athletes.
He can be found at almost every event and competition in the Big Sky Area with his family who is also very heavily involved in our mission. With his help, his team, the Bozeman Flames won the program of the year in 2017.
Spirit of Special Olympics- Tina Hoger
Sargent Tina Hoeger from the Billings Police Department was awarded the 2019 DSA Spirit of Special Olympics Award at State Basketball. Tina has served Special Olympics since 2002 through Law Enforcement Torch Run. Tina has served as LETR Leg Leader in her community since 2005 and began serving as regional Law Enforcement Torch Run Coordinator in 2006. She has served on Montana’s Executive Council since 2006 and in 2018 became the Assistant Director to the statewide Torch Run and later became the Director of the Torch Run in 2018. In 2019 Tina attended and ran in the International Final Leg in Abu Dhabi.
Tina is an active fundraiser through torch run related events including the Polar Plunge, Tip-A-Cop, Truck Convoy, Over the Edge and of course, the Final Leg.
Tina, as a Law Enforcement officer, carries the Flame of Hope, a symbol of courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe. Tina is an individual who carries the flame with ultimate nobility. Through her leadership, sincerity, and commitment she is igniting a roaring flame.
Athlete of the Year- Kandi Christophersen
Kandi Christophersen was awarded the 2019 DSA Athlete of the Year at State Basketball! Kandi has grown up with Special Olympics and has participated for 22 years!
Over the years, Kandi has participated in over 10 sports; these include athletics, bowling, basketball, cycling, skiing, soccer, swimming, golf, powerlifting, and floor hockey!
Beyond the 62 area and state-level competitions she’s competed in, she attended the National Games in both 2006 and 2010.
Kandi is described as a true competitor and she always keeps her attitude in check despite hardships. She is always helping others overcome their personal hardships too; she is a true role model on and off the field and truly is deserving of this award.