Celebrating the power and joy of sport at the 2023 SOBC Classic

Cory Duhaime and his father Michael celebrating Cory’s accomplishments at the SOBC Classic reception!
Cory Duhaime and his father Michael celebrating Cory’s accomplishments at the SOBC Classic reception!

“Special Olympics is such a big part of my life. It’s what I do. I enjoy being part of a team, where I am accepted for who I am, and I accept my teammates for who they are,” says Special Olympics BC – Delta athlete Cory Duhaime.

Cory and his father Michael Duhaime have been involved with Special Olympics for over 15 years, and they shared their inspiring stories at the 2023 Special Olympics BC Classic, held on June 15 at Mayfair Lakes Golf & Country Club.

The Special Olympics BC Classic is a first-class fundraising golf tournament committed to providing an outstanding on-course experience while championing inclusion and respect for people with intellectual disabilities.

The hallmark of this event is the genuine commitment to celebrating Special Olympics athletes and building inclusion, which shone throughout the 2023 tournament and the efforts of our many valued sponsors, donors, teams, auction supporters, volunteers, and all involved in this meaningful day.

SOBC athlete Sarah Brown standing next to three other golfers
SOBC – Vancouver athlete Sarah Brown meeting SOBC Classic golfers on the greens!

After a day of play and fun on-course activities, the evening reception brought together the teams to celebrate Special Olympics athletes, where Cory and Michael talked about the life-changing impact of Special Olympics.

Cory battled health issues and tough competition throughout the many years of his alpine skiing career. But through his perseverance and dedication, Cory never gave up on his dreams. In 2020, he reached the top of the podium on the national stage, winning three gold medals at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games in Thunder Bay, and qualified for a long-sought spot on Special Olympics Team Canada 2022!

Now, he is training hard to compete with pride and go for personal bests at the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary!

“Thank you all for opening that door and allowing me to work hard with my teammates to try to achieve our dreams,” Cory said.

“As a parent, all I really wish for is that my son be given an opportunity – an opportunity to be included, participate, learn, grow, and be successful. In other words, I wish for, and hope for an open door – Special Olympics is that open door. Thank you for opening that door to those treasures and keeping it open for us,” Michael said. “I feel lucky to be Cory’s dad.”

Susan Wang with Gordon Campbell
SOBC – Surrey athlete Susan Wang with SOBC Classic participant and former Premier of British Columbia Gordon Campbell.

Too often, people with intellectual disabilities are forgotten and left behind by our society, and the pandemic intensified their isolation. The SOBC Classic is an opportunity to support the athletes who rely on Special Olympics for sport, health, skill building, and most of all, friendships.

“When the pandemic hit and a lot of the programs were shut down, it was pretty tough for us for a while. Now as things are opening back up, we are getting programs back going again, and it just means the world to me and my fellow athletes that you guys are out here supporting us,” SOBC – Vancouver’s Daniel Thomas told the tournament attendees. “It goes a long way and we appreciate it. Thank you!”

Sincere thanks to our generous sponsors:

Along with providing participants with a premium golf experience, the Special Olympics BC Classic gave attendees opportunities to meet and mingle with inspiring SOBC athletes. Big thanks to the Duhaime family and SOBC athletes Sarah Brown, Daniel Thomas, and Susan Wang who all attended!

We are also grateful to the event’s dedicated organizing committee, and to the many volunteers, supporters, and donors who helped make this year’s event so special!

Special Olympics BC Director and Tournament Chair Michael Campbell shared his heartfelt thanks with SOBC Classic supporters. 

“We had an incredible day out here at the Special Olympics BC Classic, one of the most important fundraisers we do all year. The support we get from our sponsors and golfers is essential,” Campbell said.

“Thank you to all of our organizers for the SOBC Classic, as this gives those with intellectual disabilities a chance to compete in sport. Special Olympics has meant so much to me because it allows me the opportunity to compete in sport and make new friendships along the way. Thank you for everything!” said Special Olympics Team Canada 2023 athlete Kyle Liftin of Salmon Arm, who took the time to send in his thanks while he was busy competing with the national team in Berlin!



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