Five Special Olympics Yukon athletes went to Corner Brook, Newfoundland for the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. Special Olympics Yukon sent two skating athletes and three cross country skiers.
The team qualified by competing at the 2015 Special Olympics British Columbia Winter Games that were held in Kamloops, B.C. this past winter.
On February 24th, Michael Sumner and Tijana McCarthy practised their program for the very last time before leaving early on the 28th of February.
“I feel super confident and I believe in myself and my team-mate Tijana all the way,” said Sumner after he finished his program in front of the entire skating group. After they both had finished their program they got flowers and a round of applause from their fellow skaters.
“They are wonderful athletes and they deserve to go there,” said Michelle Semaschuk, the head coach of the figure skating team.
Semaschuk, Sumner and McCarthy left Whitehorse together with the three cross- country skiers Owen Munroe, Darby McIntyre, Ernest Chua, their head coach Helen Slama and mission staff Jerome McIntyre.
Tuesday, March 1st was the day of the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Opening Ceremonies.
Munroe and McIntyre competed March 2nd in the 5km classic technique final. Both skiers won a medal at this competition, Munroe got gold and McIntyre got silver. Skier Chua had a divisioning race in 500m and the 1km.
March 3rd was supposed to be another competition day for the cross country skiers, but due to heavy rain, the 7.5km classic technique final was postponed to the following day.
Friday was a big day for Team Yukon, with both the figure skaters and cross-country skiers competing. McCarthy won gold in the Ladies Level 1 and Sumner won gold in the Men’s Level 2. As for the cross country skiers, McIntyre won gold in the 7.5 km classic technique and McIntyre won bronze in the same division. Chau won gold in the 500m classic technique final.
March 6th was the last day of the Special Olympics Winter Games and Team Yukon did not miss this chance to take home one final medal. Chua got silver in the 1km final cross country ski event. The team was scheduled to arrive on the afternoon of March the 6th, but after a snowstorm hit Corner Brook on the 5th, the flight was delayed. The team arrived at the early afternoon on Monday, greeted by Commissioner Doug Phillips.
Team Yukon won a total of 8 medals, two more than at the previous Games.
Congratulations Team Yukon for the success at the 2016 Special Olympics Winter Games.