Bringing home one gold medal is an impressive feat but bringing home 12 is legendary.
The Special Olympics Alberta Bow Valley team made up of three cross-country skiers from Cochrane and one from Canmore did just that.
“Our athletes competed in three events and were able to all capture gold in all their events which is somewhat unprecedented,” says head coach Shawn Jesse about the Special Olympics Alberta Provincial Winter Games. “We’re a pretty small community group and for us, it was a really good weekend and a really good showing from our athletes.”
Taking place in Strathcona County, The Special Olympics Alberta Provincial Winter Games brought the best athletes from around the province to compete at the end of February.
Elouise Stewart from Cochrane won the gold medal in each of the 5 km, 7.5 km, and 10 km races. Similarly, Shane Stewart from Canmore also won the gold medal in each of the 5 km, 7.5 km, and 10 km races. Brock Jesse from Cochrane won the gold medal in each of the 2.5 km, 5 km, and 7.5 km races. Kieran Pothier from Cochrane, who was participating in his first provincial games, won the gold medal in the 100 m, 500 m, and 1 km race.
“They won a gold in each of their races. It is the 3rd highest gold medal count in the province after Calgary and Edmonton. Quite a feat for our small group!“
With 12 gold medals around their necks, Jesse says the athletes are even more motivated for what’s next.
“The selection process is starting for the provincial team that will be going on to the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, which just happens to be hosted in February in Calgary in 2024.”
“It's looking good for our athletes and we are hoping that as many as possible are selected and that they'll be competing next year and national.”
Jesse says that they are always looking for more athletes to join the team whether it is to compete or get active and meet some fellow athletes.