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50 per cent

of Special Olympics athletes work. They are 5 times more likely to work than adults with an intellectual disability not enrolled in Special Olympics.

30 official members

of the Special Olympics Champions Network

Team Canada

TELUS keeps Special Olympics Team Canada connected


PyeongChang is a long way from home for 15-year-old William Leblanc — 10539.76 kilometres away to be precise.

Leblanc is one of Special Olympics Team Canada’s youngest members. And while his greatest supporters are in Canada, he is able to stay in touch with his family in Port Perry, Ontario, thanks to his Blackberry 9360 donated by TELUS.

TELUS provided mobile devices to the 141-person Special Olympics Team Canada, to ensure each one of Canada’s athletes will have the opportunity to share their national pride with family members unable to attend the games. In addition, the leading Canadian telecommunications company added social media packages to mission staff phones so they could upload the latest information, and is covering their network expenses during the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

“I got a call from William after his 777 metre finals,” said Duncan Leblanc, William’s father.  “He’d placed fourth, and was excited as he beat his personal best time by more than five seconds.”

“He phones everyday now to give us an update of the speedskating,” Leblanc continued. “It is a wonderful gift for those of us at home.”

Steve Podborski, TELUS National Director, Community Sport, announced its donation at Special Olympics Team Canada’s send-off celebrations in Vancouver on January 24. The next day, the Canadian ski legend wrote about the donation on his blog:

As an Olympian, I know first-hand the rollercoaster of emotions that come with getting ready to leave for an international competition. It’s, of course, an honour to represent your country, and the anticipation of such a big event can also be completely nerve-wracking. That being said, yesterday, all I saw on the faces of our Special Olympics athletes, coaches and mission staff was excitement. Canada, I can assure you that our athletes are ready to represent our great Country and make us proud. Even more importantly, they are ready to have the time of their lives!

TELUS’ generous donation has made it easy for the coaches, athletes, and mission staff of Special Olympics Team Canada to remain in touch with their loved ones while in PyeongChang.

As Kristin Wakeman wrote on Special Olympics Canada’s Facebook page, “I got a phone call from my brother Adam before his 4×400 relay. It made my day being able to talk to him and find out what he’s been doing and the fun he’s been having… It was great hearing from him and being able to cheer him on over the phone was thrilling for me.”

Duncan Leblanc echoed Wakeman’s remarks, “We get to stay in touch and HEAR our athletes’ enthusiasm and pride in themselves and representing Canada. This opportunity from TELUS has provided those of us at home, a personal connection to our athletes so far away.”