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      Saginaw skier conquers slopes with a smile

      Alpine skier Julie Montgomery enjoys the winter morning after a run

      Saginaw native Julie Montgomery has been alpine skiing since she was 12 years old.

      But there is one thing that the Special Olympian likes about it the most.

      "The medals," Montgomery said. "I like them the best."

      Montgomery suffers from autism but that has not stopped her from having a good time on the slopes or with her coaches.

      "She's a great athlete. It's fun coaching her," said Robert Sanders, one of Montgomery's coaches She's a ball. We have a lot of fun with her."

      "i've been coaching Julie for 25 years," said Sandy Van Haaren, another one of Montgomery's coaches. "She does an awesome job, she's an awesome athlete. It's just a great time. It's a great experience to see the happiness on ther faces. It's great to have the competition."

      Today, Montgomery won a silver medal but she has bigger plans for the rest of the games.

      "I wanna get a gold tomorrow," Montgomery said.

      The Winter Special Olympic Games run through tomorrow, February 10 in the Traverse City area.

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