Lena Baldoni, Special Olympics Quebec athlete is heading to the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games, check out her story!
In the late 1990s, Lena’s parents heard that the Special Olympics torch was coming to Kirkland City Hall, so they decided to go as a family to see it. This was the event that changed Lena’s life. She was 7 years old and full of energy. Unfortunately, there were no programs at the time that would take on the challenge of including a child with autism. Special Olympics and its wonderful volunteers changed all that. Lena now had a place where she could run, jump and thrive. At the beginning, it was a whole process to make her understand when and where to run. But the volunteers repeated patiently and she started to get the gist of things after a while. Lena has come a long way, from athletics and swimming to snowshoeing. She enjoys her weekly training sessions with her team and her coaches. When she takes part in a competition, she runs with her friends and cheers on everyone.
Provincial games are always exciting. The athletes try to beat their own times and hope their efforts will win them a medal. With training and determination, Lena made it to the Nationals and was even lucky enough to represent Canada in Greece in 2011. This summer, Lena will compete at the Vancouver National Games in athletics. She is looking forward to meeting other athletes and coaches from across Canada.