Preparations continue for Special Olympians

Not everyone can win events at the spring Special Olympics but every participant is a winner, say officials.

Not everyone can win events at the spring Special Olympics but every participant is a winner, say officials.

“That’s what they live by,” said Jerry Tennant, Red Deer spring Special Olympic games organizing committee chairman.

“They do they do their best, they cheer on those who are doing well, they’re excited for anyone who wins and just participating is the big thing for any of them.”

On April 19, about 800 athletes, coaches, support staff, supporters and volunteers will arrive in Red Deer. That afternoon, the games get underway and continue through Sunday, April 21.

The events include five- and 10-pin bowling, basketball and swimming.

“We have 300 five-pin bowlers and they’ll start Friday (April 19) afternoon,” said Tennant.

The opening ceremonies at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School begin at 7 p.m. on April 19. The public is welcome to attend this event, which includes the Law Enforcement Torch Run featuring Alberta law enforcement members.

Competitions continue on Saturday, followed by a banquet and dance at Westerner Park in the evening.

The games wrap up on Sunday by about 2 p.m. with medal presentations.

Five-pin bowling takes place at Heritage Lanes, 10-pin at Riverside Bowl, swimming at Michener Centre and basketball at Notre Dame High School.

Organizers are 90 per cent ready for the event. There are last minute details to finalize, specifically food and accommodations.

“It’s been a lot of work, we’ve been working on it for just under a year,” said Tennant. “Normally you have almost two years to do this sort of thing, so it has been a lot of work.”

Competitors will stay at Harvard Business Centre at Springbrook in the former cadet barracks and will be bused back and forth to events in buses provided by the Red Deer Catholic School District.

“This is a highlight for the special athletes,” said Tennant. “From here they could even be chosen to go on to national or international events.

“It is very high competition. There is a lot of excitement.”

Athletes come from about 30 communities for the event, stretching north to the Northwest Territories, south to Lethbridge, east to Lloydminster and west to Rocky Mountain House.

“They have a variety of intellectual disabilities, some even have physical disabilities, but these individuals are just as capable as able-bodied to participate, succeed and enjoy themselves,” said Tennant.

“The important thing is participation as much as the winning.”

The event had a budget of $150,000. The money was raised through donations, sponsorships and grants.

The opening ceremonies and athletic events are open to the public and are free to attend.

“I think they’d be quite surprised at the calibre of expertise that some of these athletes will display,” said Tennant.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

New York Red Bulls midfielder Jared Stroud, right, vies for the ball against Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio during an MLS soccer match in Harrison, NJ., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Entering his ninth season with Toronto FC, Jonathan Osorio said his off-season regimen was no different than in the past. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (19) makes the save on Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman (11) as Tyson Barrie (22) defends during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Toronto continues to lead the North Division standings, but hard-charging Edmonton is now just four points back on the all-Canadian circuit heading into a three-game series between the teams in Alberta's capital beginning Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Angela James stands on centre ice in front of the Toronto Maple Leafs team after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame before Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday November 6, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse talks to center Aron Baynes (46) and guard Norman Powell (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara
Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Most Read