Special Olympics Thunder Bay surprised 15 local athletes with the announcement that they will compete as part of Team Ontario at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games being hosted in Thunder Bay in February 2020. Each athlete first qualified at the regional level and ultimately earned their Team Ontario spot after competing at the Provincial Games in January 2019.
“We are beyond proud of our athletes for earning this significant achievement,” said Denita Minoletti, Special Olympics Thunder Bay’s Treasurer/Event Coordinator and the Northwestern Liaison for Team Ontario. “This is the reward for their considerable determination, hard work, enthusiasm and passion for sport. They will be incredible representatives of our Thunder Bay community and the province. We can’t wait to cheer them on as they compete on a national scale.”
Sorted by sport, the qualifying athletes who join Team Ontario include:
- 5-Pin Bowling – Julia Luck, Steven Mau and Joshua Tomagatick
- Alpine Skiing – Amy Cizmar and Carson Smith
- Curling – Mykola Cuthbertson, Janice Martinsen, Marco Pauselli, Jordan Pretchuk and Rachel Warren
- Nordic Skiing – Justin Campbell and Noah Filice
- Snowshoeing – Gabrielle Hannusch and Tyler Rissanen
- Speed Skating – Claire Kachur
The Thunder Bay athletes will represent the community in six of the eight sports competitions at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020. The Games are scheduled from February 25-29 and will welcome over 1,200 athletes, coaches and mission staff from across Canada.
Special Olympics Thunder Bay provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities. It has been a part of the Thunder Bay community for over 30 years and currently has more than 100 volunteers providing 18 sports programs for over 400 athletes, as well as the Active Start program for athletes as young as two years old. Special Olympics Thunder Bay is part of Special Olympics Ontario, which has promoted opportunities for athletes to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and develop skills and friendships for more than 50 years.
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