When Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes Kyle Robinson and Katelynn Fulweber (now Robinson) said “I do” on Saturday, July 15 at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, they participated in a beautiful sand ceremony during the wedding.
For those who don’t know, a sand ceremony is a wedding tradition where a couple pours sand into a vase or jar to symbolize the coming together of two families into one new and beautiful family, but with each visible layer of the different colored sand representing the uniqueness of the individuals that contributes to the beauty of the partnership.
When Katelynn and Kyle blended their lives and families through their sand ceremony, another family was also incorporated into the ceremony: their Special Olympics family.
Because of how much the movement has meant to the both of them, as well as their families, Kyle and Katelynn decided to use the commemorative bottle Kyle was given at this year’s World Winter Games in Austria, where he competed in downhill skiing.
It also was a fitting way to cap off what has been a whirlwind of a year for both Kyle and Katelynn. It started about a year ago when Katelynn and Kyle traveled to Orlando for a family wedding. Perhaps feeling inspired by the matrimonial occasion, Kyle proposed to Katelynn at Disney World in about as romantic fashion as possible – with a pillow of carnations carrying a glass slipper.
Then in September 2016, Kyle was asked to address the World’s Largest Truck Convoy as a special guest. In December, Kyle was whisked away to Vermont to train with Team USA for the World Winter Games. Three months later in March, Kyle headed to Austria for a head-spinning week of Winter Games competition and events. Katelynn and her parents, Michelle and Dave Fulweber, made the trip to support Kyle. This was not completely uncharted territory for the Fulwebers. Katelynn competed in the USA Games in New Jersey in 2014, where she took home two medals in swimming.
“I was glad to meet new friends and ski down bigger mountains,” Kyle said of his Winter Games experience, where he earned a bronze medal in alpine skiing Super G. The weeks before and after the Winter Games also brought a lot of activity as his story gained substantial attention from the local news media, with several reporters interviewing him, Katelynn and her parents on Kyle’s athletic exploits and their unforgettable trip to Austria. March was truly a month to remember.
Of course, as once-in-a-lifetime as the World Winter Games experience has been for Kyle and Katelynn, it was all just warm-up for the main event that would take place July 15 in the Wisconsin Dells.
More than 50 family members and friends, including some athletes and coaches from their agency 3-12 Chequamegon Bay Area, attended their outdoor ceremony on the riverside patio of Chula Vista Resort.
When asked what he thought when he first saw Katelynn in her wedding dress, Kyle beamed from ear to ear and said, “She’s beautiful.” When asked what she thought when she saw Kyle in his tux, Katelynn similarly said, “He’s cute!” She then wondered aloud why he didn’t wear a tux all the time.
The newlyweds danced their first dance to Lonestar’s “Amazed” and, in another fitting tribute to Special Olympics, enjoyed cake and cupcakes from Cupcakes on 8th in Marshfield, which is run by a 12-year-old SOWI athlete and his mother.
After the wedding, the couple stayed in the Dells for several more days as their honeymoon, enjoying water slides at Mt. Olympus, taking out zombies at Zombie Outbreak Laser Tag and taking in their first few days as a married couple.
Assuming they ever had a bit of down time in between all the exciting adventures during their trip, perhaps they also reflected on just how remarkable the last year has been for them.