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MARILYN HAGERTY: Tommy brings home bronze

Thomas, better known as "Tommy" Mikkelson, is flying home Friday from South Korea with a bronze medal he won this week during the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter games.

It was in so many ways a mountaintop experience for the Grand Forks competitor who celebrated his 22nd birthday Jan. 27 in Korea. His parents, Dan and Jolene Mikkelson, returned Wednesday from Korea. Tommy is traveling with the North Dakota delegation including Blaine Schulz of Jamestown, who was competing in snow shoeing.

Tommy Mikkelson won a third-place bronze medal competing in Alpine skiing. The event followed several days of practice for the competitors who were in Korea from late January and throughout this week.

Jolene Mikkelson said the Olympics were the trip of a lifetime for the young man who has grown up in Grand Forks following the sports scene. The volunteers who coach and organize the games are so caring, she said. And she said they make everyone feel so good and so special.

Winter Special Olympics were created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation and authorized and accredited for the benefit of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Snow Ball

The weekend arrives with enough snow to set the scene for the Snow Ball dance Friday at Central High School. ... The annual Feast of Nations sponsored by foreign students at UND will be held Saturday evening at the Alerus Center ... while the 22nd annual gala dinner and silent auction is set for Saturday evening at the North Dakota Museum of Art. ... North Dakota Ballet is presenting "Carnival of the Animals" Friday through Sunday at the Empire Arts Center.

The 18th annual Dick Compton Memorial Lions Club shoot-out basketball tournament is a weekend event ... and a Winter Expo will be held Saturday in Turtle River State Park near Arvilla, N.D., ... while veterans of World War II and others will be attending the movie "Honor Flight" Saturday morning at the River Cinema in East Grand Forks ... with entertainment of the 1940s era preceding the show.

UND sports fans will meet at noon Friday at the Alerus Center ... and the UND women's basketball team will meet up with the University of Montana team Saturday afternoon at the Betty. While the UND women's hockey team is hosting Bemidji State here Friday night and Saturday night. ... The annual drumline competition will take place when Central High is host to the basketball teams from Red River Monday evening ...

Ask Marilyn

Q. What is the Old Mattress Factory?

A. It's the gathering place for UND fans before the outdoor hockey game between North Dakota and Nebraska Omaha on Saturday. North Dakota fans will rally round the CenturyLink Center before the indoor game Friday at Omaha.

Duane and Sheila

Cheerful persons of the week: Duane Hafner and Sheila Gerszewski.