The below article was published in March 2021
Special Olympics Canada has announced the roster for the SO Team Canada 2023 Winter Training Squad! These 108 athletes and 48 volunteer coaches and mission staff from across the country have qualified for the national team training program based on their performances in the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay.
Special Olympics BC is delighted to congratulate all the members of this SO Team Canada Training Squad, including the 23 amazing athletes and 16 phenomenal coaches and mission staff from B.C.! Making it onto the national team training squad is a huge achievement years in the making.
Members of the Special Olympics Team Canada Training Squad from B.C. qualified with their years of training and their progression through Regional Qualifiers in 2018, the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games, and the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. In August 2021, organizers announced that the Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan are postponed to January 2023.
The Special Olympics Team Canada Training Squad is inviting everyone to join the journey and share their virtual training resources!
“I am at a loss for words as to how incredibly proud I feel of our Team BC members selected to the national team training squad,” said Michelle Cruickshank, Chef de Mission of Special Olympics Team BC 2020. “Being a part of Team BC and witnessing the goal setting, the commitment to training, and the continual uplifting of one another to achieve their personal best at the National Games left me in awe all throughout.
“I believe that Team Canada will be so fortunate to have each of these mission staff, coaches and athletes as members of their team, because of all them have and will bring that attitude and state of mind to this team. It was our intent to lead Team BC into the National Games with a theme based on building the best possible team environment that we could – and I think that this group will carry that approach into their roles with Team Canada.
“I can’t wait to hear about the incredible training moments that come out of this year to come. I will be cheering each and every one of you on the entire way!
“Remember, ‘A challenge is an opportunity to prove your ability to yourself and to others.’ Go Team Canada!”
Please join us in congratulating the Special Olympics Team Canada 2023 Winter Training Squad members from B.C.!
• Colby Bell, Vernon
• Cory Duhaime, Delta
• Jordan Ewert, Kelowna
• Fiona Hall, Coquitlam/Port Moody
• Taylor Mitchell, Whistler
• Kailyn Potomak, Langley
• Erin Thom, Kimberley/Cranbrook
• Malcolm Tietjen, Vancouver
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
• Assistant Coach Jessica Chapelski, Vancouver
• Head Coach Donna Bilous, Abbotsford, SOBC Leadership Council Chair
• Cross country skiing: Steve Oliver, Dawson Creek, SOBC Leadership Council Member
• Speed skating: Jean Tetarenko, Victoria, SOBC Sport Coordinator
• Team Doctor Alternate: Diala El-Zammar, Chilliwack
Special Olympics BC would also like to sincerely thank the hometown coaches who have taken on the role of training coach for SO Team Canada Training Squad athletes. Training coaches play a vital role in supporting the athletes to work toward their goals!
• Michael Duhaime
• Christiana Dürfeld
• Misty Pagliaro
• Mark Schnurr
• Devyn Scott
• Karen Truesdale
Cross country skiing
• Jeff Dolinsky
• Annabel Stanley
• Garth Vickers
• Jessica Chapelski
• Maegan Montemayor
• Elizabeth Roman
• Maureen Hunter
• Joanne Turnbull
• David Wilkinson
• Kaehlen Allison
• Donna Bilous
• Deborah Carter