Saanich golfer Nick Farrell won gold at the B.C. Special Olympics Summer Games earlier this month in Kamloops.
Farrell, of Gordon Head, was one of 30 Victoria-based athletes to win gold at the Games.
Victoria athletes took in a whopping 90 medals in swimming, athletics, rhythmic gymnastics, softball, 10-pin bowling, soccer and golf. The Games bring together athletes with intellectual disabilities from across B.C. and Yukon.
In athletics, Kristina Legresley won gold in the standing long jump and the 100-meter run, a silver in the shot put and a bronze in javelin. Lidia White won silver in the javelin and bronze in each of the shot put and long jump.
Victoria’s soccer team won a silver medal in Division B, and the Victoria Capitals softball team won gold in Division C.
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 (50m butterfly) and three bronze (400m freestyle, 100 m breaststroke, 200m IM); and Kelsey Simpson (pictured) won 4 medals – a gold (50m backstroke), a silver (100m backstroke) and two bronze (100m freestyle, 100m 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,” Simmons said. “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.”