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!
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!
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 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:
At the end of May, I competed in the Provincial Games, this time in the sport of basketball. There were 10 of us on our London team.
The Opening Ceremonies were really awesome. I was so excited when I marched in with the team. Suzie McNeil performed and she was really good. The Mud Men also performed and they were fun.
The next day we started competing. It was super hot in the gym and super hot in our dorm rooms where we slept. We still played really hard even though it was hot.
We played a round robin and made it to the gold medal game. We played against St. Catherines. My friend Tess is on that team. We played really hard but their team was a little better. We got the silver medal. I think silver is awesome.
I have the best news! I made Team Canada and I will be going to the World Games in March 2017! I am so excited. I will go to Austria from March 14th to the 25th. I will meet some new friends from all over the world.
I went to my first training camp at the end of May with lots of other Team Canada athletes. I have ski coaches and David Stickland is my training coach for when I am at home. Normally, he is my soccer coach. It was really good to meet lots of my teammates at the camp.
They had really good fitness stations and we worked really hard. We got to do yoga as well. The next camp will be somewhere on a mountain in Canada when the snow flies. I am hoping maybe it will be in Banff, Alberta. I cannot wait.
I went down to Toronto with my mom and dad because we had been invited by Special Olympics Ontario to meet with politicians.
We went down the night before and we had dinner with two other families from London who were also going to Queens Park. My sister and brother-in-law, Angela and Ollie, also met us for dinner because they live in Toronto. We had a fun dinner and good food at a place called Scaddabush.
The next morning we walked to Queen’s Park.
We went to Question Period and that was interesting. When the politicians argue, the Speaker Dave Levac stands up and they all have to be quiet.
After that, we had our picture taken with Premiere Kathleen Wynne.
Later, we had meetings with MPPs.
At the end of the day, there was a reception and we met some more politicians, like MPP Teresa Armstrong. She was really friendly.
My new friend, Tess Trojan was an MC of the reception, along with Dave Levac.
It was an interesting day and I hope I get to do it again someday.
On February 29th my Ontario teammates and I flew to Newfoundland to compete in
the Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games. There are 12 Ontario Alpine athletes competing against athletes from across the country.
On Tuesday, March 1st, we had the Opening Ceremonies. I was part of the Parade of Athletes going into the ceremony. Team Ontario’s slogan was Rock On. We all marched in behind the Team Ontario sign. Team Ontario was very big. Team Yukon and North West Territories were very small. At the ceremonies, there was a band that played and a lot of us got up and danced.
Thursday was a rainy day so our races were postponed. We went to watch some of the indoor sports. We saw figure skating, floor hockey and speed skating. I cheered on some of my friends in other sports. It was good to see how well they were playing. I met Olympic Champion Speed Skater Catriona Le May Doan. She gave us some advice on competitions.
We had a bit of fun and had to kiss a cod. It is called getting “screeched in” in Newfoundland and we were all laughing at each other with the fish. Now we are all honourary Newfoundlanders.
On Friday, I was back to skiing. The rain was done and it was snowing and really cold. In the morning I raced the Super G. In the Super G, the gates are far apart and so you can go really fast. It’s a longer race too. In the afternoon, I raced the Slalom. In the Slalom, the gates are really close and it’s a super tight course. You have to make really sharp turns. Guess what? I won a silver in the Super G and in the Slalom, I got a gold medal!
I was feeling awesome when I got the silver and proud when I got the gold. I was a little bit shocked. My dad was one of my coaches so he was there and my mom and my sister, Angela were there watching and cheering me on. After I won my medals, we facetimed with my sister, Jackie so she could see my medals.
On Saturday I was sick and so I missed the closing ceremonies. We flew home on Sunday and then I missed a week of work because I had pneumonia.I had to wait to show people my medals, because I was sick.