Five athletes will represent Vernon as 244 members of Special Olympics Team BC 2018 compete at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Running from July 31 to Aug. 4, this event will see Special Olympics athletes from across Canada compete in athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball and swimming.
Vernon’s own Katelyn Oliver, Gary Pollen, Erin Murphy and Ashley Phillips will demonstrate their court smarts in basketball while Jay Megyesi is the city’s sole soccer athlete.
In Antigonish, Team BC will be made up of 174 athletes with intellectual disabilities, 54 coaches and 16 mission staff members, representing 38 communities across British Columbia. Team BC members qualified for the provincial squad through their performances at the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops.
“Team BC athletes have been working very hard and we are excited to see them shine at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games,” said Leslie Thornley, Team BC 2018 Chef de Mission. “They have been training with their local programs, working with sport-specific experts, and focusing on nutrition so they can be at their best for National Games. We know they will do B.C. proud with their abilities and sportsmanship.”
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. In Antigonish, athletes will compete for the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
Team BC five- and 10-pin bowlers competed at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships in Prince Edward Island, which took place May 15 to 19. The bowlers delivered excellent results, earning 31 medals and achieving many personal bests.