Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Meet Athlete Kathleen Nelson

21 March 2018

Special Olympics BC – Salmon Arm‘s Kathleen Nelson is a fun-loving athlete who enjoys playing sports with her friends.

Nelson participates in basketball, bocce, and Club Fit through SOBC – Salmon Arm, and she says bocce is her favourite sport.

“It’s a game I can play anytime and mostly anywhere in the summertime – and I like playing with my friends,” Nelson says.

Nelson also loves the social aspect the game, especially the wrap-up party the team has at the end of the season.

“I like the windup parties where we have awards and talk about all the fun we had during the season!” she says.

Nelson’s most memorable experience with Special Olympics was competing in the 2017 SOBC Summer Games. Nelson enjoyed being part of the exciting atmosphere in Kamloops, and says it was fantastic to win a gold medal with her bocce team.

Nelson clinched the gold medal for her team in their final game. In a dramatic finish, Nelson threw her team’s last ball, and after it stopped rolling, it was hard to tell how many of her team’s balls were closest to the pallina. After measuring, the officials determined that Nelson’s team had scored three points, and they had won the match.

Nelson and her teammates didn’t know they had finished first in their division until they were called onto the podium to receive their gold medals. Nelson said she was thankful, excited, and very surprised.

One of Nelson’s favourite memories from Provincial Games came when her team was posing for a photo. Nelson and her teammates were joking around and they started to do a cancan-style dance. Some enthusiastic fans saw this, and started to do the dance as well.

“I had a lot of fun,” Nelson said.

Through their great results in Kamloops, the team members qualified for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Nelson found out she had qualified for the Team BC 2018 Training Squad while she was on vacation with her family.

“I felt excited!” Nelson said.

Nelson says her teammates are a lot of fun and it will be great to go to National Games with players she is comfortable with. Currently, the squad is training three times a week as they prepare to compete in Antigonish.

Nelson says her goals for National Games are to “Try and do the best I can and have fun!”

Nelson says staying healthy is important to her and she loves to be active. In her free time she likes to go kayaking and horseback riding. She also volunteers at a food bank where she serves meals and at a daycare where she supervises children and helps with chores.

Going forward, Nelson says she wants to continue to compete in bocce and she hopes to qualify for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.

SOBC – Salmon Arm bocce players Carina Chu, Kathleen Nelson, Tristan Harms-Popham, and Nick Anchikoski.

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