Four years of training in Greater Victoria with volunteer coaches and crucial qualifying performances at regional and provincial games have paid off for Special Olympics athletes bringing home a total of 18 national games medals back to the Capital Region. Three gold, 10 silver, and five bronze were won by athletes competing in swimming, softball, and rhythmic gymnastics at the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Nova Scotia last week (July 31- Aug 4).
Our swimmers, trained at Crystal Pool by renowned ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons, had the largest medal haul. Aly White swam to 7 medals. A gold in 200 m individual medley; 4 silvers in 200 m breaststroke, 400 m freestyle, 50 m butterfly and 50 m individual medley relay; and bronze in 100 m breaststroke and 200 m individual medley. Cheyenne Furlong-Goos won five silver medals in 100 m breaststroke, 200 m freestyle, 25 m breaststroke, 50 m breaststroke and 50 m individual medley relay. Kelsey Simpson and Terri Carelius won a medal each, Simpson won gold in the 100 m individual medley and Carelius a silver in the 50 m freestyle. Rhythmic gymnast Brittany Scruton’s performances won her four medals. A silver in clubs, and bronze in hoop and ribbon, and a bronze all around. Our softball team, the Victoria Capitals, played to a silver medal falling 19-18 to team Nova Scotia.
Other athletes who had notable performances were golfer Nick Farrell who finished in 6th place and rhythmic gymnast Desiree Grubell who placed 7th all around.
As Special Olympics BC – Victoria Local Coordinator Kendal Alston explains the athletes got a well-deserved hero’s welcome at the Victoria International Airport when they returned:
“The crowd went crazy when we welcomed our athletes home from national games on Sunday night. They were all very tired from their competitions and travel, but there was an astounding sense of pride among the group. Each athlete worked very hard to ensure that they were ready for the games and it certainly showed. The airport was filled with the clinking of medals and the buzzing of updates about how amazing their experiences had been. It is truly an honour to be a part of Special Olympics, and it is a pleasure to be volunteering with our athletes who are so very dedicated. On behalf of the Local Committee, congratulations to all who competed!”
Earlier in the summer, our 10 pin bowlers competed at the bowling national games in PEI winning five medals. A gold for Patrick Reid in the overall event, and a silver in the individual event; a gold for Tanya Steinhausen in the individual event and bronze in the team event, and a bronze for Russell Morfitt in the individual event.
The Special Olympics Canada Games are the qualifiers for the Special Olympics World Games, taking place in 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
Swimmer Cheyenne Furlong-Goos. Photo by Special Olympics Canada
Victoria Capitals Softball Team: Photo by Darren Inouye