Feature Story                                                          Monday March 14, 2016

 

Winter Wonders

Triple gold, podium sweep for Team BC

Megan Grittani-Livingston/Handout photos

 

An Elated BC Vipers team receiving their floor hockey silver medals.

 

he 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games took Team BC from sea to sea for the first time, and the 126 athletes delivered outstanding performances on the Rock.

 

Team BC 2016 earned 120 medals and achieved many personal bests competing in seven sports at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, from March 1 to 5.

 

Team BC 2016 was comprised of 126 athletes with intellectual disabilities, 42 volunteer coaches, and 10 mission staff from 31 communities around the province.

 

After working hard over the last year both in their sport-specific training and on their fitness and nutrition, Team BC members were very prepared to compete in Corner Brook, and they did their province proud.

Highlights included the triple gold medal performances by speed skater Paige Norton of
Abbotsford, cross-country skier Francis Stanley of Kelowna, figure skater Marc Theriault of Surrey, and alpine skier Michael Langridge of Victoria, as well as the two exciting all-B.C. gold-medal games in curling and floor hockey, and a B.C. podium sweep in the 2.5-kilometre classic cross-country skiing M3 division by Vernon’s Justin Sigal (gold) and Prince George’s Josh Pudney (silver) and Danny Lafreniere (bronze).

“We are so thrilled with the results – the personal bests and medals both,” Team BC 2016 Chef de Mission Leslie Thornley said. “We really are so pleased with what the athletes did and how they represented us.”

The 2016 National Games were the first to be held in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 47-year history of Special Olympics Canada Games, and the local volunteers and supporters provided an exceptional experience for the more than 950 delegation members from Canada’s 10 provinces and two of three territories.

“The people of Newfoundland embraced us and our athletes. They treated us like family,” Thornley said.

Special Olympics competitions operate on a four-year cycle for both summer and winter sports. Athletes compete in regional events and then Provincial Games to advance to National Games, and Special Olympics Canada Games are the qualifiers for Special Olympics World Games.

Special Olympics Canada will select the members of Team Canada for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria based on the performances in Corner Brook.

Through these competitions and training, Special Olympics athletes empower themselves and inspire everyone around them as they set and achieve goals, build pride and confidence, and forge valued friendships. Team BC results, roster, photos, and videos: www.soteambc2016.ca

 

 

About Special Olympics BC

Special Olympics BC is dedicated to providing individuals with intellectual disabilities opportunities to enrich their lives and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences. In 57 communities around the province, we provide year-round training and competitive opportunities in 18 different sports to more than 4,400 athletes of all ages and abilities, thanks to the dedicated efforts of over 3,400 volunteers.

 

For more information, please visit www.specialolympics.bc.ca Find us on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/specialolympicsbc   @sobcsociety.

 

 

 

 

 

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