Alpine skier Susan Wang at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. (Photo: specialolympics.ca)

Alpine skier Susan Wang at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. (Photo: specialolympics.ca)

21 Surrey-area Special Olympians to compete at provincial Games in Kamloops

Close to 500 athletes are involved in the eight sports Feb. 2-4

The Surrey branch of Special Olympics BC will be well represented at the 2023 SOBC Winter Games presented by Prospera Credit Union, in Kamloops from Feb. 2-4.

The provincial Games, held for the first time in four years, are considered a powerful opportunity for athletes with intellectual disabilities to step into the spotlight, reconnect with friends, and be celebrated for their abilities.

The Games will involve close to 500 athletes in the eight sports of 5-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.

“The Games experience is very special and meaningful to athletes, and they will hold it in their memories forever,” said alpine skier Susan Wang, among athletes profiled in video posted to Special Olympics BC’s website.

A member of Special Olympics Team Canada 2017, Wang won a bronze medal and a fourth-place finish at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

For the provincial Games in February, athletes earned their spots with performances in regional qualifiers held from January to May 2022, and in Kamloops will have the chance to qualify for the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary.

The 21 Surrey-area athletes headed to Kamloops are Ivy Snow (5-pin bowling), Susan Wang (alpine skiing), Sean Beddows (cross country skiing), Norman McClelland (curling), Stephanie Divin (figure skating), floor hockey players Alexander Blashuk, Alexander Mason, Andrew Kison, Austin McPherson-Maundrell, Cody Smith, Douglas Birdsall, Kevin Forbes, Matthew Miloglav, Robert English, Scott La Roue, Thien Lam, Thuc Nguyen and Vishash Kumar, and speed skaters Hillary Birkett, Jesse Thibault, Mark Hamblett and Zack Thibeault.

The eight regional rosters are posted on specialolympics.ca, with stories, photos and more.

From Feb. 3-5, Tim Hortons will sell chocolate-cake ring doughnuts (made with white fondant, sprinkles and whipped topping), with all proceeds supporting Special Olympics programs across Canada.

Members of the public can make a difference for Special Olympics BC athletes by getting involved in “rewarding roles in the year-round Special Olympics programs in their communities, and by donating to help make the empowering SOBC Games experience possible,” the organization says.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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