by Kim Sampson

Andrew Ausmus (right) accepts the 2016 Timothy Krause Bunbury Award from SOMI Board Chair Bob Chadwick II (left) at the State Winter Games.

Special Olympics Michigan athlete Andrew Ausmus from Monroe was honored with the 2016 Timothy Krause Bunbury award on Wednesday, February 3. This award is presented annually at the State Winter Games in memory of Special Olympics athlete Timothy Krause. It is given to an alpine skiing athlete who has trained with enthusiasm and sense of humor, and who has proven to be 'brave in the attempt' according to the Special Olympics oath.

Ausmus has been involved in Monroe County's Special Olympics program for over twenty years. He has a reputation among his coaches as a team player and a true sportsman. Ausmus is willing to step up as a leader on and off the slopes. He is a level III skier during the winter season and also competes in poly hockey and bowling.

"I try to support my team, other athletes, and my coaches," said Ausmus. "It's important to have fun, be nice, and keep working hard."

Timothy Krause Bunbury was an avid skier who passed away at a young age. His family felt that an award in his honor should recognize a SOMI athlete who enjoyed and excelled in skiing.

Ausmus was awarded the Timothy Krause Bunbury Award at the State Winter Games opening ceremony where he was honored with a Wertz Warriors jacket, signed by each member of the fundraising snowmobile group and an engraved medal. The State Winter Games were held at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort and Howe Ice Arena at the Grand Traverse Civic Center. This year marked the 40th Winter Games. Over nine hundred Special Olympic Athletes from over 30 Michigan Counties competed in alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, figure skating and speed skating events.