Alpine skiing coach Diane Mikulis watched as the body language of her Special Olympic athletes — including Marylander Jake Reynolds — transformed one day last month from mildly interested to awe-struck.
They had just entered Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., where international flags hung majestically from the rafters and where banners and murals honored historic athletic events. The skiers listened to a brief history of the venue and now were being told they were going to be allowed on the ice.
They grinned widely, and a smile slowly crept onto Mikulis' face, too, as her skiers restlessly and excitedly waited to descend the stairs.
Shortly thereafter, Mikulis, who...