By  Maureen Brinson

(ISN) – A number of Campbell River athletes have returned from the Special Olympic National Games with a pocket full of Gold.

This past week was an amazing experience for a number of athletes who attended the Special Olympic National games in St. Albert, Alberta.

Five Campbell River athletes, including Nick Benner, JL Hollywood, Beau Wryghte, Darcy Hutter and Coach Marvin Holmgren, joined the Nanaimo Tigers Floor Hockey team to bring home a National Gold Medal. 

For the first timers, Benner, Hollywood and Holmgren, it was an amazing experience.  For Wryghte, it was his third time participating and now has a gold medal to add to the two silvers that he earned at previous games. 

For Athlete Darcy Hutter this was the fifth games that he has attended and his second time for floor hockey.  He says, “I feel like a National Champion!  I have always dreamed of winning a gold medal in hockey at the national level.” 

Veteran coach Maureen Brinson raved about the games, noting, “by far the National games hosted in St. Albert were the top that I have attended.  The venues and quality of competition were at the level that our athletes deserve.  Honourary Head Coach Travis Lulay was a great supporter of the Team as well, visiting each venue and adding lots of spark at the opening ceremonies.”

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Athlete JL Hollywood with BC Lion quarterback and honourary Head Coach, Travis Lulay

In other events, Snow Shoe competitor Hazen Meade reached his dream of earning his first National Gold Medal. 

On Wednesday Feb 29th Hazen earned Team BCs first Gold medal in the 1600 meter race.  The temperature at the time was a balmy  -17C (-21C with the wind chill) when Hazen entered the starting area.  With a time of 8.28 he crossed the finish line with a large lead and setting the fastest time in the 1600 meters in Canada for this competition. 

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Snowshoer Hazen Meade in action at the Special Olympic National Games.

Hazen followed this performance up with a silver in the 400 meters , Bronze in the 800 meters and a Bronze in the 4×400 meter men’s relay. 


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Hazen Meade on the podium.