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Okanagan athletes named for Special Olympics Canada competition

The four day event will feature 142 athletes from across the country
Danielle Pechet of Vernon will be competing in the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary Feb. 27-March 2. (Contributed)

Special Olympics B.C.’s largest-ever winter team will pursue personal bests at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary Feb. 27 to March 2.

The B.C. team is comprised of 142 athletes, 50 coaches, and 14 mission staff from 31 communities.

The Okanagan region features 16 athletes, nine coaches and four mission staff.

  • Cross country skiiing: Francis Stanley (Cranbrook), Jordan Lige, Kelsey Wyse, Shannon Lindquist, Tracey Melesko (Kelowna).
  • Snowshoe: Garrison Frost, Tony Wilkinson (Kelowna), Danielle Pechet (Vernon), Kassidy Rutledge (West Kelowna)
  • Five-pin bowling: Angela Flannigan, Bob (Bobby) Brimacombe, Travis Block (Oliver), Ryan Richter, Sascha Bayliss (Osoyoos), Allen Hahner (West Kelowna)
  • Alpine skiing: Yorke Parkin (Revelstoke)
  • Coaches: Ty and David Wilkinson (Kelowna), Patricia Kreiger (Osoyoos), Ray Huson (Penticton), Saige Beaumont (Revelstoke), Les Sigal, Laura Murphy, Janny Jung (Vernon), Annabel Stanley (West Kelowna)
  • Mission staff: Krissy Krnasty (Vernon-medical), Kimberly Rutledge, Leanne Kelly (Kelowna), Aaron Leontowich (Kamloops)

“It makes me feel honoured and privileged that I get to represent B.C. and compete against all of Canada at a national level,” said Pechet, one of 15 snowshoers competing.

The teams will be competing in eight sports in Calgary: five-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.

The athletes qualified for their spot based on their performances at the 2023 Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games, which was hosted in Kamloops.

“The energy and excitement of this 2024 provincial team is undeniable,” said Michelle Cruickshank, Special Olympics Team BC 2024 Chef de Mission. “It’s been a long-anticipated wait for our athletes to be returning to competition at the national level. I am so proud of the commitment and hard work shown by all of these inspiring athletes, coaches, and volunteers.”

More information can be found at

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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