Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Special Olympics Team Canada 2017 results and highlights

19 March 2017

That's a wrap on the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games! We are so proud of the Special Olympics Team Canada members from B.C., and loved cheering for the more than 2,600 athletes from 105 countries who gave their all on this remarkable global stage.

After years of training and competition to reach the 2017 World Games, the members of Team Canada from British Columbia truly delivered in Austria March 14 to 24. Special Olympics Team Canada’s 16 athletes, eight coaches, and one mission staff member from B.C. did their province proud as they were well prepared to compete with skill and determination on the world stage. Competing in alpine skiing, cross country skiing, figure skating, snowshoeing, and speed skating, all of the B.C. athletes medalled, collectively earning 11 gold, 10 silver, and five bronze.

"This truly was a great experience and I'll cherish it forever," SOBC – Surrey alpine skier Susan Wang said. "I loved competing with people from all over the world."

With the help of their coaches and supporters in their year-round Special Olympics programs at home, the members of Team Canada were very well prepared to compete and shine on the world stage. Their achievements at these World Games mark the culmination of an exciting four-year journey, as the B.C. athletes progressed through Regional Qualifiers in 2014, the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games, and the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games to earn the opportunity to compete in Austria.

“We are very proud of this province’s members of Special Olympics Team Canada 2017. They trained so hard to be able to perform at their best on the world stage, and they showed such inspiring dedication, sportsmanship, and skill,” said Lois McNary, Special Olympics BC Vice President, Sport.

Find all of the B.C. results below! Plus lots more coverage on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram at hashtags #SOTeamCanada17 and #Austria2017, as well as the below links:

B.C. photo album (more highlights linked below)

Special Olympics Canada Flickr photos

World Games Flickr photos

Team Canada website

Team Canada results hub

Pre-Games media coverage and background on the SOBC team members

World Games searchable results hub

TSN broadcast coverage schedule and stories

ESPN story hub

 

Highlights

Friday, March 24:

  • Cross country skiers wrapped up competition with terrific performances in the 2.5km classic race! Kelowna's Francis Stanley charged to gold - amazing performance by this fast young man in his first World Games. Coach Garth Vickers of Kelowna noted that Stanley clocked in at "eight minutes even, which was eight seconds faster than fastest [freestyle skier]." Coach Ray Huson of Penticton reported that Stanley was "pretty stoked!! It was an awesome day!!" Kelowna's Tracey Melesko and Vernon's Justin Sigal both won bronze medals, and Nanaimo's Dennis Lynch earned a fourth-place finish. Congrats to all!
  • "Everyone on the Team Canada cross country team won at least one medal at the World Games! So incredible!!" Huson wrote. Friday's medal photos
  • Closing Ceremony!

Thursday, March 23:

  • B.C.'s figure skaters competed in their final events today and earned four medals in four events! Vancouver's Alexander Pang opened the day by winning gold in Ice Dancing Level 3. Watch his second dance here (The link to his first dance is below in the March 21 highlights.) He then added a silver medal in his Singles Level 5 event. At just 19 years old, Pang is competing in his third World Games (2015 basketball, 2013 figure skating). Fort St. John's Darlene Jakubowski took the ice next and captured a gold medal in women's Singles Level 6, followed by a golden skate by Surrey's Marc Theriault in men's Singles Level 6!
    Watch Theriault's freeskate
    Watch Jakubowski's freeskate
    Watch Pang's freeskate
  • EnergeticCity.ca coverage of Jakubowki's great results
  • These are the EIGHTH World Games for Surrey's Marc Theriault (for summer sports as well as for figure skating), and he has become an incredible mentor to younger teammates. Theriault's 21-year career in Special Olympics has seen him compete and participate in swimming, athletics, bowling, soccer, golf, powerlifting, curling, and softball in addition to his figure skating career. Theriault says Special Olympics has changed his life for the better, and there is no greater feeling than representing his country.
  • In the speed skating 500m finals, Abbotsford's Paige Norton added a second medal to her Austria 2017 tally by winning silver, and Langley's Matthew Williams earned a fourth-place finish and a personal best!
  • Alpine skiers closed out competition with slalom races - Cranbrook's Roxana Podrasky is golden in her first World Games, Maple Ridge's Katherine St. Amand struck silver, and Cranbrook's Jonathan Robins earned a bronze medal!
  • Kelowna snowshoer Tony Wilkinson won gold with teammates in the 4x100m relay! An amazing showing by Wilkinson at his first World Games.
  • All four B.C. cross country skiers ran divsioning in 2.5km classic and will race Friday, March 24.
  • B.C. highlight photos | Part 2
  • Bonus: The International Sports Press Association has a Young Reporters program with participants from all over Europe covering the World Games. Check out some of their great stories: meeting Special Olympics Syria athlete Asmaa Naser Eddin | talking Special Olympics with decorated Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno | talking Special Olympics with Olympic and world figure skating medallist Michelle Kwan

Wednesday, March 22:

  • Cross country skiers crushed the 4x1km relays! Kelowna's Tracey Melesko won gold with the women's team, Nanaimo's Dennis Lynch captured silver with the co-ed team, and Kelowna's Francis Stanley and Vernon's Justin Sigal raced to seventh with the men's team. "Everyone is pretty excited!" coach Ray Huson said. "We are so proud of our team!"
    Watch how Melesko and team got race-ready :)
  • Alpine skiers Roxana Podrasky, Jonathan Robins, and Katherine St. Amand ran slalom divisioning.
  • B.C. figure skaters and speed skaters cheered on their teammates, waiting for tomorrow's competitions. The figure skaters also participated in a new World Games off-ice dance competition, and the Team Canada group with Marc Theriault and Darlene Jakubowski won, so they will perform at Friday's Closing Ceremony. :)
  • B.C. highlight photos

Tuesday, March 21:

  • Special Olympics BC alpine skier Michael LangridgeAlpine skiers smoked the giant slalom! Victoria's Michael Langridge (pictured at right) won his SECOND gold medal of these World Games while Cranbrook's Erin Thom and Roxana Podrasky both captured silver, Cranbrook's Jonathan Robins earned bronze, Surrey's Susan Wang raced to fourth, and Maple Ridge's Katherine St. Amand skied to sixth.
  • Find coverage of Langridge's results: CHEK News | Victoria Sports News 
    "He had the race of the day, and it’s a dream come true for him to be here and compete with the very best. A special thanks to his mom and all his supporters at home," said Coquitlam coach Mark Schnurr, Langridge's Team Canada coach. Langridge’s mom has travelled with him to cheer him on in person while his friends at Special Olympics BC – Victoria have been rooting for him from home. SOBC – Victoria Local Coordinator Joy Croll:
    "All of us at SOBC – Victoria are so proud of Michael's phenomenal accomplishment of two gold medals at the World Games. Michael is an incredible representative for Canada and an inspiration to all!"
  • On the cross country ski track, Nanaimo's Dennis Lynch sped to fourth place in the 1km freestyle race. This is the first World Games for Dennis in 30 years as a Special Olympics athlete! "Dennis had a big grin!" coach Ray Huson reported.
  • In snowshoeing, Kelowna's Tony Wilkinson charged to fifth place in the 200m event!
  • After the compulsories in Singles competition, figure skaters Darlene Jakubowski of Fort St. John and Marc Theriault both sit in first place in their respective Level 6 events. Watch Theriault's compulsories and Jakubowski's. Vancouver's Alex Pang completed his first of two dances in his ice dance event - watch him here.
  • B.C.'s speed skaters didn't race today but cheered on their teammates in the 111m and 777m events.
  • B.C. highlight photos

Monday, March 20:

  • In the 1000m speed skating race, Abbotsford's Paige Norton won gold and Langley's Matthew Williams silver, both with personal-best times! "Don't worry Mom, I got this," was Norton's attitude pre-race! (As reported on Twitter by her father/Team Canada speed skating parent liaison/SOBC coach Tom Norton.) Paige's mother is Team Canada speed skating Head Coach Donna Bilous, SOBC Region 3 Coordinator.
    Watch Norton
    Watch Williams
  • In the 5km classic cross country race, Kelowna's Tracey Melesko won gold, and Vernon's Justin Sigal won silver. This is Melesko's sixth World Games (both summer and winter sports)! Read Vernon Morning News coverage of their achievements
  • In the 100m snowshoeing race, Kelowna's Tony Wilkinson captured silver in a 1-2 finish with Ontario speedster Peter Snider!
  • Alpine skiers ran giant slalom divisioning. Victoria's Michael Langridge told Special Olympics Canada that "happiness is... skiing in the sunshine!"
  • B.C. photo highlights

Sunday, March 19:

  • Special Olympics Team Canada Canada’s first medals won by the alpine skiers in super G racing, including Michael Langridge of SOBC – Victoria (gold), Erin Thom of SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook (silver), and Susan Wang of SOBC – Surrey (bronze)! Langridge won Canada's first gold medal of the Games. This is Thom's fifth World Games!
  • The figure skaters and speed skaters were also in action with compulsories and divisioning respectively.
  • Cross country skiing and snowshoeing races were cancelled due to weather.
  • B.C. photo highlights
  • Bonus: ESPN's amazing World Games trailer voiced by actress Gwendoline Christie

Saturday, March 18:

 

Results for SOBC’s Team Canada members

Alpine skiing: 6 athletes, 2 coaches

Erin Thom, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook

Years with SO:

25

2017 World Games results:

Super G: silver, Advanced F2 division – time 01:02.04 (March 19)

Giant slalom: silver, Advanced F5 division - time 01:40.50 (March 21)

 

Jonathan Robins, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook

Years with SO:

17

2017 World Games results:

Giant slalom: bronze, Intermediate M2 division - time 02:03.00 (March 21)

Slalom: bronze, Intermediate M2 division - time 01:21.00 (March 23)

 

Katherine St. Amand, SOBC – Ridge Meadows

Years with SO:

10

2017 World Games results:

Giant slalom: sixth, Intermediate F8 division - time 03:18.97 (March 21)

Slalom: silver, Intermediate F7 division - time 02:02.97 (March 23)

 

Michael Langridge, SOBC – Victoria

Years with SO:

15

2017 World Games results

Super G: gold, Novice M1 division – time 25.11 (March 19)

Giant slalom: gold, Novice M4 division - time 58.01 (March 21)

 

Roxana Podrasky, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook

Years with SO:

7

2017 World Games results:

Giant slalom: silver, Intermediate F6 division - time 02:34.42 (March 21)

Slalom: gold, Intermediate F3 division - time 01:28.92 (March 23)

 

Susan Wang, SOBC – Surrey

Years with SO:

5

2017 World Games results:

Super G: bronze, Intermediate F4 division – time 01:05.63 (March 19)

Giant slalom: 4th, Intermediate F5 division - time 02:24.18 (March 21)

 

Head Coach: Randy Scott, SOBC – North Shore

Years with SO:

27

Quote:

Randy’s favourite thing about being involved with Special Olympics is “the athletes. What else can be said! They are the best, and they make the rest of us better people!”

 

Coach: Mark Schnurr, SOBC – Coquitlam

Years with SO:

27

Quote:

“Every day with Special Olympics athletes is a great one.”

 

Cross-country skiing: 4 athletes, 2 coaches

Dennis Lynch, SOBC – Nanaimo

Years with SO:

29

2017 World Games results:

1km Freestyle: 4th, M8 division - time 05:42.30 (March 21)

4x1km relay: silver with Team Canada co-ed team (March 22)

2.5km Classic: 4th, M6 division - time 13:34.60 (March 24)

 

Francis Stanley, SOBC – Kelowna

Years with SO:

7

2017 World Games results:

2.5km Classic: gold, M1 division - time 08:00.80 (March 24)

10km Freestyle: 6th, M1 division – time 32:26.60 (March 18)

4x1km relay: 7th with Team Canada men's team (March 22)

 

Justin Sigal, SOBC – Vernon

Years with SO:

6

2017 World Games results:

5km Classic: silver, M6 division - time 32:50.90 (March 20)

2.5km Classic: bronze, M4 division - time 12:17.40 (March 24)

4x1km relay: 7th with Team Canada men's team (March 22)

 

Tracey Melesko, SOBC – Kelowna

Years with SO:

27

2017 World Games results:

5km Classic: gold, F2 division - time 32:15.10 (March 20)

4x1km relay: gold with Team Canada women's team (March 22)

2.5km Classic: bronze, F1 division - time 11:48.40 (March 24)

 

Coach: Ray Huson, SOBC – Penticton

Years with SO:

22

Fun fact:

The 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games were Ray’s fourth National Games appearance in three sports – he was also a Team BC coach for snowshoeing in 2008, cross-country skiing in 2012, and bocce in 2014.

 

Coach/wax technician: Garth Vickers, SOBC – Kelowna

Years with SO:

18

Fun fact:

An outstanding coach and mentor, Garth is the 2016 winner of the SOBC Howard Carter Award and Special Olympics Canada Male Coach of the Year award.

 

Figure skating: 3 athletes, 1 coach

Alexander Pang, SOBC – Vancouver

Years with SO:

8

2017 World Games results:

Ice Dancing Level 3: gold (March 23)

Singles Level 5: silver, men's 5B division (March 23)

 

Darlene Jakubowski, SOBC – Fort St. John

Years with SO:

 

2017 World Games results:

Singles Level 6: gold, women's 6A division (March 23)

 

Marc Theriault, SOBC – Surrey

Years with SO:

21

2017 World Games results:

Singles Level 6: gold, men's 6B division (March 23)

 

Coach: Elizabeth Roman, SOBC – Surrey

Years with SO:

20

Fun fact:

Elizabeth is ready for her third World Games experience, having coached figure skating teams to four Special Olympics Canada Winter Games and two previous Special Olympics World Games.

 

Snowshoeing: 1 athlete, 2 coaches

Tony Wilkinson, SOBC – Kelowna

Years with SO:

13

2017 World Games results:

100m: silver, M07 division - time 16.35 (March 20)

200m: 5th, M08 division - time 39.67 (March 21)

4x100m relay: gold (March 23)

 

Coach: Maureen Hunter, SOBC – Campbell River

Years with SO:

32

Fun fact:

Maureen has served as a Special Olympics Team Canada coach at four previous World Games – Toronto/Collingwood 1997, Dublin 2003, Nagano 2005, and the Republic of Korea 2013. In 2008, Maureen and her husband Harvey were inducted into the Special Olympics BC Hall of Fame as Local Builders. Read more about Maureen

 

Coach: David Wilkinson, SOBC – Kelowna

Years with SO:

11

Fun fact:

David’s motto is, “Do your best – but have fun.” The 2016 Special Olympics Canada Games were his first National Games experience.

 

 

Speed skating: 2 athletes, 1 coach

Matthew Williams, SOBC – Langley  

Years with SO:

11

2017 World Games results:

1000m: silver, Division 4 - time 01:50.821 (March 20)

500m: fourth, Division 18 - time 00:53.777 (March 23)

 

Paige Norton, SOBC – Abbotsford 

Years with SO:

13

2017 World Games results:

1000m: gold, Division 2 - time 02:19.822 (March 20)

500m: silver, Division 9 - time 01:32.767 (March 23)

 

Head Coach: Donna Bilous, SOBC Region 3 Coordinator, Abbotsford

Years with SO:

13

Quote:

“In 2009 at the World Winter Games in Boise, I was so honoured to be selected Head Coach for Team Canada and the wonderful group of athletes I worked with, and I was so proud to watch my daughter [Paige Norton] receive Canada’s first gold medal.”

 

Mission staff

Darren Inouye, SOBC Region 5 Coordinator, Burnaby

Years with SO:

13

Quote

“Special Olympics has given me much more than I could ever give back, the quality of people and the adventures we go on have produced some of the best moments in life, truly stories of a lifetime.” This is Darren’s first World Games and he couldn’t be more excited about supporting the athletes’ and coaches’ journeys to Austria.

More stories on Team Canada members from B.C.

Kelowna's Francis Stanley racing at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games
SOBC - Kelowna's Francis Stanley racing at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

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