Kelowna’s Francis Stanley wins Special Olympics Canada 2022 Athlete of the Year

Francis cross country skiing in action

A big congratulations to Special Olympics BC – Kelowna’s Francis Stanley, deserving winner of Special Olympics Canada’s 2022 Athlete of the Year award! Stanley and his fellow national award winners were announced during the 2022 Special Olympics Canada National Awards Night on November 1.

The Special Olympics Canada National Awards annually recognize the outstanding athletes, coaches, and volunteers from across the country who exemplify the spirit and essence of our movement.

Stanley is very appreciative to those who helped him in his athletic and personal journey.

“I would like to thank my coaches Garth, Ray, Les, Adam, and my mom Annabel who helped me choose a healthy lifestyle and to be a mentor to other skiers,” he said in his acceptance speech.

Stanley has been part of Special Olympics for 13 incredible years. His athletic achievements include multiple gold medals in cross country skiing at both the national and international levels, as well as earning a spot on Special Olympics Team Canada 2022. 

SOC Athlete of the Year graphic with Francis posing in front of pickup truck holding ski poles

As a multi-sport athlete competing in athletics, cross country skiing, and soccer, Stanley understands the importance of being a team player and having a positive attitude. His coaches, friends, and family members marvel at how determined he is in reaching his goals, as well as encouraging his teammates to do the same.

Congratulations to Francis and all the other deserving award winners and finalists. Watch the 2022 SOC National Awards Night, co-hosted by TSN's Vic Rauter and Special Olympics New Brunswick athlete Jojo Landry:

2022 Special Olympics Canada Awards Night

Francis was also the recipient of the 2022 SOBC Athletic Achievement Award, one of the six annual awards that recognizes the inspiring athletes, volunteers, and sponsors of the SOBC community. Congratulations to this year’s award winners! Learn more by clicking here.