NANAIMO — For Nanaimo Special Olympics athletes, winning doesn't only mean standing on the podium with a gold medal.
Track and field coach Angela Behn said many of the 47 athletes representing Nanaimo earned medals or posted personal best times in their sport.
She said the feeling in Kamloops from July 6 to 8 was invigorating, inspiring and intense at times.
“It's intense in the actual moment, but the intensity drops very quickly and it's all about the sportsmanship. They appreciate everyone elses abilities as well. Not only are you out there for your own person best, but they appreciate other athletes doing their personal best. We cheer everybody on.”
Track and field athlete Sash Barber came back from Kamloops with two gold medals in the 200 m. dash and javelin throw.
Having only competed in the Special Olympics since 2015, Barber said he was thrilled to be part of the community and being active is many different sports has changed his life greatly.
“Although winning a medal is awesome, the one thing I like to look at most is knowing some of the athletes who've never been in the Special Olympics before, they've done something completely amazing for their community, their city or their country.”
Barber is now waiting to learn if he'll be going to nationals in 2018.
“All I can say is, it was an absolutely fantastic time. I'm proud of all the athletes who came, even from other parts of Canada like the Yukon. A lot of them tend to have so much positivity and a lot of sportsmanship.”
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