The Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria has now wrapped up. As previously reported, Victoria’s lone athlete Michael Langridge will come home with two golds — in the Novice Super G and Giant Slalom.
After years of training and competition to reach the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games, the members of Team Canada from British Columbia truly delivered in Austria March 14 to 24.
Special Olympics Team Canada’s 16 athletes, eight coaches, and one mission staff member from B.C. did their province proud as they competed with skill and determination on the world stage. Competing in alpine skiing, cross country skiing, figure skating, snowshoeing, and speed skating, all of the B.C. athletes medalled, collectively earning 11 gold, 10 silver, and five bronze.
With the help of their coaches and supporters in their year-round Special Olympics programs at home, the members of Team Canada were very well prepared to compete and shine on the world stage. Their achievements at these World Games mark the culmination of an exciting four-year journey, as the B.C. athletes progressed through Regional Qualifiers in 2014, the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games, and the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games to earn the opportunity to compete in Austria.
“We are very proud of this province’s members of Special Olympics Team Canada 2017. They trained so hard to be able to perform at their best on the world stage, and they showed such inspiring dedication, sportsmanship, and skill,” said Lois McNary, Special Olympics BC Vice President, Sport.
The 2017 World Games Closing Ceremony wrapped up the events in Austria on the evening of March 24. The Special Olympics Team Canada 2017 members from B.C. are scheduled to land back in Vancouver International Airport on Saturday, March 25, at approximately 9:30 p.m. in the main terminal (domestic arrivals). Team members from outside the Lower Mainland will travel home on Sunday, March 26.
The team members from B.C. are:
- Abbotsford’s Paige Norton (athlete, speed skating) and Donna Bilous (Head Coach, speed skating)
- Burnaby’s Darren Inouye (mission staff, figure skating)
- Campbell River’s Maureen Hunter (coach, snowshoeing)
- Cranbrook’s Roxana Podrasky, Erin Thom, and Jonathan Robins (athletes, alpine skiing)
- Delta’s Marc Theriault (Special Olympics BC – Surrey athlete, figure skating)
- Fort St. John’s Darlene Jakubowski (athlete, figure skating)
- Langley’s Matthew Williams (athlete, speed skating) and Elizabeth Roman (Special Olympics BC – Surrey coach, figure skating)
- Kelowna’s Tracey Melesko and Francis Stanley (athletes, cross country skiing), Tony Wilkinson (athlete, snowshoeing), David Wilkinson (coach, snowshoeing), and Garth Vickers (coach/wax technician, cross country skiing)
- Maple Ridge’s Katherine St. Amand (athlete, alpine skiing)
- New Westminster’s Mark Schnurr (Special Olympics BC – Coquitlam coach, alpine skiing)
- Nanaimo’s Dennis Lynch (athlete, cross country skiing)
- Penticton’s Ray Huson (coach, cross country skiing)
- Squamish’s Randy Scott (Special Olympics BC – North Shore Head Coach, alpine skiing)
- Surrey’s Susan Wang (athlete, alpine skiing)
- Vancouver’s Alexander Pang (athlete, figure skating)
- Vernon’s Justin Sigal (athlete, cross country skiing)
- Victoria’s Michael Langridge (athlete, alpine skiing)