Speaking at the Canadian Down Syndrome Society Conference

My sisters and I got to present at the CDSS conference in Banff. Our talk was called Building a Meaningful Life. It was a 90 minute talk and we each took turns. There were some great questions from the audience when we were done. I really liked doing that and I hope we get to do it again another time. It was really nice to spend time with my family like that. I like it when I have my sisters together.

At the conference I got to meet Sean and Elena from Born This Way. Elena is really funny and she had us laughing a lot. Sean is very nice. They are doing lots of speaking engagements all around North America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we were back in Banff and Canmore, we did a little more sightseeing. This time we went to Johnston’s Canyon. It is beautiful. We hiked to the top waterfall.

We stayed in Canmore and the view from our condo was the Three Sisters Mountains, just like Angela, Jackie and me.

 

Our Athletes Banquet

Every year we have an Athletes Banquet and it is so much fun. We have a nice dinner and every athlete gets a medal. Then, each sport presents an award to their athlete of the year. This year, I got the award for skiing. Then the 4 of us that went to the World Games got the awards for male and female athletes of the year. I was so surprised. The Sportsperson of the Year this year was Kristov. We are in fitness class together. He is really funny and nice. After the awards, there is a dance. I got to dance with lots of people and then came home and went straight to bed because the next day I had a soccer tournament in Oakville.

 

Blue Weekend

On my birthday, Angela and Ollie gave me a cool gift. It was for a blue weekend. That sounds like something sad but it was not. First of all, blue is my favourite colour.

So on the weekend, I took the train to Toronto again and first we went to a Blue Jays game. I wore my Jays jersey. The next day we went to see the Blue Whale exibit at the ROM. It was really interesting and I learned new things. I love science. That night I had my favourite cocktail. A blue lagoon. Angela and Ollie always take me to fun restaurants.

It was another fun weekend in Toronto.

 

After the Worlds

Now that I am back at home life is back to the way it was. I am back at my full-time job and they missed me while I was away. I am back to my other sports – right now that is basketball, rhythmic gymnastics and indoor soccer. Did I tell you that I am part of a team going to the Provincial Games in soccer in July? It is in Peel Region.

But even though the World Games are done, I am not done with working out and eating healthy. I am going to keep working out 3 or 4 times a week and I am going to keep eating really healthy.  I feel strong and healthy and I want to stay like that.

I think that soon I would like to share some of my favourite healthy recipes with you.

World Games!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guten Abend. That is German for Good Evening.

They speak German in Austria and I just came back from the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria! I have traveled to lots of places. And I have skied a lot. But I have never done anything like this. It was amazing. I trained for a long time to get there and it was so great.

Being part of Team Canada is amazing. Everyone loves Canada. There were 4 of us from London. Chris is a skier like me. Jamie went for floor hockey. Sara went for speed skating.

I made some friends from other countries and of course, I made lots of friends on Team Canada. My roommates were Sally and Susan and they were great.

Some mornings we were up at 5 a.m. One of my teammates said Team Canada was out of bed, fed and on the mountain before the other teams were even awake. I thought that was funny.

The mountain was huge. It is so cool when you hear racer 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Go. Then you bust through the gate and go.

My first race was the GS. When you race you have 2 runs and then your two times are added together. After the first run I was in 8th place. On the 2nd run, I gave it everything I had and ended in fourth. I was so happy!

A few days later I was racing the slalom. I was really lucky because I had lots of fans cheering me on – my mom and dad, my two sisters, one of my brothers-in-law, my boss and friends Taylor and Shannon, and my teammates.

And I got 2nd place! 

Later that night we had the medal presentation in the town centre in Schladming. I was so proud and excited to get the silver medal.

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of times people ask me how I got to the World Games. I will tell you.

I trained hard.

I ate healthy.

I had the help of my family and friends.

I had amazing ski coaches.

Actually, I had amazing coaches in all my sports and that helped me to be a better athlete.

What a great time!

Diply Send-Off

I was at work doing my regular jobs and I was asked if I could help out with something on another floor so I said yes. When I got down there, it was a surprise send-off party for me right before I go to the Special Olympics World Games!

My boss, Taylor, gave a speech and wished me luck. All my coworkers were there so there were over 100 people.

I was really shocked. We had a lunch of salad and chili and everyone had champagne and wished me luck. I have really nice coworkers, don’t I?

Home for the Holidays

I love having my whole family together. For the holidays, Angela and Ollie drove down from Toronto and Jackie and Brian flew from Calgary. When we are all together we laugh all the time. We like to play games and eat healthy food. I made my sisters a 2017 calendar with some of my favourite vegetarian recipes for them. They are both vegetarians. The calendar has pictures of me making recipes. They really liked that gift.

And now it is 2017 and I am looking forward to this new year!

 

Special Olympics Canada Limitless Gala

I was invited to attend the Special Olympics Canada gala in Toronto. What a fun event. There were lots of people there that support Special Olympics and help us. There were also lots of sports celebrities there and we got to have a meet and greet with them. My Olympic partner for the evening was Derek Drouin.  I also got to hang out with Jon Montgomery, Annamay Pierse, Kyle Shewfelt, Damian Warner, Rosie MacLennan, Adam Van Koeverden, Mark Tewksbury, Jennifer Hedger, Marnie McBean, Diana Matheson, Rhian Wilkinson, Stephanie Labbe, Sheila Zadorsky and more. It was quite a night! My sister Angela was my guest for the night and we sat with some really nice people from a company called kubik. I got to say the Special Olympics athlete oath and I was a bit nervous in front of so many people but I still loved doing it.

Check out some of my pictures:

Me and my sister, Angela

 

 

 

Me and my teammate Chris, with Annamay Pierse.

Me and Allie with Damian Warner

Me and Jon Montgomery.

Me and Derek Drouin

Me and Jennifer Hedger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got a Question? We have the answers.

I saw an email from the Canadian Down Syndrome Society where they were looking for people with Down syndrome to do public service announcements (psa) so I sent in an audition tape and I got picked! There were 10 of us picked to do the psa. We were given questions that people often ask about Down syndrome and we answered them. Here is the link to my videos:

Check out more of the answers here:

Down Syndrome Answers

Toronto Waterfront Marathon

toronto-marathonI am training really hard for the World games. They are coming up in March 2017 in Austria. I work out a lot.

My sister, Angela thought it would be fun if we ran the 5k in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon so we signed up. I did it as a fundraiser for Special Olympics Canada because I am going to Worlds. I raised lots of money!

The marathon was really fun. My friend Allie, who is a Special Olympics athlete in Kitchener-Waterloo, also ran with us.

I really enjoyed it and I am going to do it again next year.