Nanaimo Special Olympics coach and athlete up for top provincial awards

By Spencer Sterritt
April 27, 2018 - 3:38pm

Special Olympics athletes on the track, at a provincial event held year-round, rather than once every four years.Special Olympics BC-Nanaimo/Facebook

NANAIMO — Some of Nanaimo's finest are nominated for top provincial honours with the Special Olympics.

John Campbell is nominated for his tireless coaching while athlete Dennis Lynch, who is also on Team Canada, is in consideration for his numerous achievements in a variety of sports.

Coach Campbell said it's still an emotional thrill after 25 years to see the smile on athletes faces when they triumph, whether it's winning a medal, achieving a personal best or even having a great time while playing.

“It's like nothing you've ever seen,” Campbell said. “It's like they've won the lottery. They're so excited and proud and may never have had the experience if it wasn't for the Special Olympics.”

Special Olympics events are held year-round, rather than every four years like the Olympics and Paralympics.

“Quite often people's whole lives rotate around the activities they do with the Special Olympics. You could probably go every day of the week if you did enough sports,” Campbell said. “We train hard and we get results.”

Campbell said over the years he's seen many athletes excel in their field to the point where they can play in regular, generic leagues, which is one of their main goals.

He said they now hope to see larger crowds cheer on the athletes at their meets, since most spectators are friends and family.

Athletes from the Comox Valley and Victoria are also nominated.

A full list of nominees can be found here.

 

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