Marinka Van Hage strapped on her snowshoes and found international gold in Idaho.
At the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Van Hage won two gold medals in her sport. First, she outpaced all her rivals in the 800-metre race and crossed the finish line in a time of seven minutes one second – about 20 seconds faster than anyone else. Van Hage, 17 at the time, used a strong kick to move from fourth to first in the last 100m. The next day, Van Hage was back in her snowshoes for a 1,600m race. In that one, she clocked in at 14:27 and left her nearest opponent 26 seconds behind.
Van Hage was making her second appearance at a Special Olympics World Games. In 2007, she competed in 10-pin bowling at the summer version of the event.