A whopping 90 medals was brought back from the BC Special Olympics Summer Games by Victoria-based athletes who were competing in various disciplines in Kamloops July 6-8th.
SOBC-Victoria athletes particularly excelled in swimming, athletics, rhythmic gymnastics, softball, 10-pin bowling, soccer, and golf with athletes bringing home a grand total of 30 gold, 33 silver, and 27 bronze from the games, which brings together athletes with intellectual disabilities from across BC and Yukon.
Local Coordinator Kendal Alston says SOBC-Victoria is extremely proud of their athletes’ performances:
“They have worked very hard this year, and that certainly showed during the Provincial Games in Kamloops. The Special Olympics athlete oath reads “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”. Many of our athletes won medals, and everyone was brave throughout the various competitions. Congratulations to all! We can’t wait for the next season”
Many of the athletes won multiple medals in sports such as athletics, rhythmic gymnastics, and swimming; where they compete in a number of events.
In athletics, Kristina Legresley brought back two gold medals (standing long jump and 100 meter run), a silver (shot put) and a bronze (javelin); and Lidia White won a silver (javelin) and three bronze (400 metres, shot put and running long jump).
In golf, Victoria’s Nick Farrell won gold in Division 1. Victoria’s soccer team won a silver medal in Division B, and the Victoria Capitals softball team (pictured) won gold in Division B
Victoria’s Marcus Piche was a stand-out in the 10-Pin Bowling competition winning a gold medal for all events combined in Division 3. He also won gold in the male singles competition and silver in the doubles event with his partner Jennifer Ferrier. Bowler Tanya Steinhausen was also atop the medal podium, winning gold in the female singles event.
Many Victoria athletes competing in rhythmic gymnastics won medals for their efforts in all events combined (including ball, rope, hoop, ribbon, clubs). Audrea Belanger and Brittany Scruton both won gold, Desiree Grubell won silver, and Bailey Lytle won bronze in their divisions.
In swimming, Aly White won 6 medals – two gold (200 m breaststroke, 200 m butterfly) one silver (50 m butterfly) and three bronze (400 m freestyle, 100 m breaststroke, 200 m IM); and Kelsey Simpson (pictured) won 4 medals – a gold (50 m backstroke), a silver (100 m backstroke) and two bronze (100 m freestyle, 100 m breaststroke). Other multiple medal winners from Victoria’s swimming program were Dixon McGowan (one gold, three silvers) and Cheyene Furlong-Goos (two gold, one silver, one bronze).
Head Swimming Coach Susan Simmons says the success of her athletes can be attributed to the work they put into their training:
“Throughout the past few months leading up to the games they have been working on both the physical and mental preparation for their events. One of the biggest challenges they faced was nerves. As a team of 10 they worked as a group to help one another prepare. Their success is due to their commitment to one another”
Victoria had one of the largest contingents of athletes and coaches at the games. In total, there were over 1600 athletes and coaches taking part in the event. Athletes qualify for the games based on their performances in regional competitions in the season prior. There are 11 events at the games: 5 and 10-pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball, and swimming.