Hi my name is Mallory Ellen Pigage. I have been an athlete with the Special Olympics Yukon for 16 years.

I really like Special Olympics because it is a time for me to socialize and do sports at the same time. The reason why it gives me the time to socialize with my friends that I don’t see in high school is because is I am not in high school anymore, and I don’t see them during the week.

My favourite sport is bowling because I have the highest girls average. My dad, Lee Pigage, is the coach for bowling. My dad and I like to do a bowling game together to see who can beat whom. And I must say that sometimes it is my dad who beats me and other times it’s me who wins.

The sports that I am going to do this winter are curling and bowling.

The other part I like about the Special Olympics Program is we get to take trips to the National Games. I have a bucket list and one of the items on that list is to qualify to be able to travel with the bowling team to Nationals.

So far I have travelled to Brandon, Manitoba to compete in swimming for the 2006 National Games; to Abbotsford, British Columbia to compete in bocce for the 2009 summer provincial games; and to Langley, British Columbia to compete in athletics for the 2013 summer provincial games. I won medals at all three of those events.

I also participate in the Special Olympics Development Games, which happen once per year in the Yukon.

They are a lot of fun because you never know three things: 1. Who’s going to be on your team? 2. What colour of T-shirts your team will be wearing, and 3. What new sport I will get to try.

Special Olympics Yukon has a program called Athlete Ambassador, and I was invited to be an Athlete Ambassador for a year. That program is a lot of fun because you get to do a day and half of learning how to deliver presentations and do public speaking.

During this year I have done two speeches. In April I got to do a 3-minute speech at the Special Olympics Festival fundraiser dinner. There were around 300 people in the audience, but it seemed like thousands.

The other speech I did was at the Volunteer Appreciation Night in September to present the Heather Miller Sport Volunteer of the Year award to Deb Sumner.

My other item on my bucket list is to travel to the Special Olympics World Games, like a fellow athlete of ours, Darby McIntyre. This summer Darby won a gold medal in the 5,000-metre race, and a bronze in the 1,500-metre race at the World Games in Los Angeles, California.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Special Olympics for giving all of us athletes these sport opportunities, and to try our best. Here is the athlete’s oath: Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt.

Sometimes when I do a lousy bowling game I have to reflect back on the previous game, and try to do better the next time.

Overall, I know for a fact that Special Olympics Yukon is the best sports program that they could have.