I am still working full-time at Diply and I am still playing all my sports and training regularly and I am still making products to sell this Christmas (stay tuned for this year’s Christmas cards) and now, I am writing a book! I am interviewing all kinds of athletes for the book and it will be about finding the champion inside you. I will share news about it as I go along. It’s going to be so fun to create!
This is the 3rd year that I have gone to the Toronto International Film Festival with my sister and brother-in-law, Angela and Ollie.
This year, we went to see Downsizing and Battle of the Sexes. I really liked both films. Going to TIFF is not like going to a regular movie. It is more like a big party all over Toronto. We went to a cool restaurant while I was there. It is called Lavelle. It’s on a rooftop and it has a pool. Here is a picture of me by the pool.
Our soccer team qualified to play in the Provincial Games in Peel Region. Soccer was played in Mississauga. The games were organized by Peel Regional Police. They did a great job.
Our team stayed in residences at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. First, there were the Opening Ceremonies at the Powerade Centre in Brampton. They are always great. We paraded in to the Ceremonies with our district, South West.
In the games, we played against teams from around the province. The Special Olympics motto is “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” I think our team was brave in the attempt. Yes, that means we didn’t finish in the medals but that’s okay. You cannot always win something. Sometimes, no matter how hard you play, the other teams play harder or better. And it’s still a really fun time.
At the Provincial Games, they had a new division for Women’s Soccer. I think this looks great and maybe sometime I will play on a women’s team.
They went to work with me and filmed me there. They film
ed me at my house and playing guitar. They went to my gym with me and filmed me with my trainer, Kristy. Then, they spent a day filming me at a soccer tournament. I wore a microphone the whole day, even while I was playing soccer.I have never done anything like that and I loved it. I really liked Tracy and Brian. They were so friendly and they explained everything. It was a great experience.
Guess what? I was named the Female Athlete of the Year for Special Olympics Ontario and my boss, Taylor Ablitt, was named Male Coach of the Year! Isn’t that amazing? We were both very surprised. In October we will go to Toronto to receive our awards. I will post pictures then but here is one of me and Taylor at the World Games in Austria. Taylor and Shannon, (his wife and also my friend) flew over to Austria just to cheer on Team Canada Alpine!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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:
As you know, I work at Diply.com and now, I have a blog over there also. Here is a link to some of my Diply blogs. Enjoy them!