With the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games fast approaching, so many members of the Greater Vernon community have stepped forward to support this exciting event in so many ways. More than 800 volunteer shifts have been claimed; the volunteer Games Organizing Committee members have put in countless hours to create an outstanding experience for the participants from around the province and the Yukon; sponsors and donors have given generously to help make this empowering event a reality; local businesses have encouraged their employees to get involved in lots of ways. It's inspiring to see the spirit of respect and community!
Now it's time to get pumped to cheer on the athletes who have been working so hard to deliver personal bests in provincial competition! Get ready to fill the stands for the exciting Opening Ceremony on February 21, and the inspiring competitions in eight sports on February 22 and 23. Please click here to check out the schedule.
Greater Vernon will be well represented in the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games by eight outstanding local athletes competing in four sports! Meet Special Olympics BC – Vernon’s hometown heroes.
Mary Adamson, snowshoeing
Mary has been a Special Olympics athlete since 2015. She is attending her first Provincial Games in snowshoeing. Mary also participates in athletics and Club Fit, and she is working on building her strength with the powerlifting team.
Mary works as a cleaner at Kee’s Tai Kwan Do and she volunteers at the BC SPCA looking after the cats. Mary is very artistic and enjoys her time at Joining Hands doing painting and pottery. She also loves the Therapeutic riding at O’Keefe Ranch and is active in dragon boating. Mary is a longtime member at All Saints Anglican Church.
Colby Bell, alpine skiing
Colby is a multi-sport athlete who excels at alpine skiing, athletics, bowling, Club Fit, cross country skiing, powerlifting, and swimming. In the 2019 SOBC Winter Games, Colby will be competing in his third Provincial Winter Games in alpine skiing. Colby has been a keen skier since he was a pre-schooler. He loves to go fast, but he loves bumps and jumps even more. Colby is a good role model and mentor to his teammates. He is a hard worker, listens well, and always has fun! He is full of cheerful “Good News.”
Matthew Bisschop, cross country skiing
I have been with Special Olympics BC – Vernon for about four years. My current sports are cross country skiing, athletics, Club Fit, and golf. I have tried powerlifting, floor hockey, and soccer.
My favorite ski technique is the double pole.
My other interests include building plastic models of cars, listening to all types of music, and helping my dad work on our vehicles.
This is my first Provincial Games and I want to do the best I can.
Dominique Borgeaud, cross country skiing
I have been with Special Olympics for about 11 years. I started off with alpine skiing and was able to participate in a few races in Whistler and Kimberley.
About five years ago I also started cross country skiing. I like the fact that it gives me another winter outdoor activity and I love to do long cross country outings. My favourite is to go from SilverStar on Gold Mountain to Sovereign and then Lars Taylor and back to the village of SilverStar. I also started skate skiing this year, but will have to work on that.
My other interests are biking, swimming, bowling, and fishing with my Dad. I also like music, dancing, walking our dog, and shovelling driveways in winter.
I'm excited about the Games and will give it my best.
Justin Chippendale, snowshoeing
Justin has been with Special Olympics for about four years. He is attending his first Provincial Games in snowshoeing in 2019.
He has been training on the track and in the gym and doing yoga in preparation for competition to improve his strength and conditioning.
Justin also participates in athletics and Club Fit. Justin works at Denny’s as a dishwasher. In his spare time he enjoys visiting with his friends and family and playing video games.
Crystal Rohrer, alpine skiing
Crystal has been working hard at Club Fit this season to get ready to compete in alpine skiing at the 2019 SOBC Winter Games. Crystal has the most infectious giggle and is a delight to coach.
Crystal is very solid on her skis and is getting faster and faster every year. She is conquering more of the mountain each winter; trees, bumps, steeps, Crystal can ski them all. Crystal is the only female athlete on her ski team, so she helps the coaches to keep the boys in line!
Steven Schwebbach, floor hockey
Steven is 28 years old and has been a Special Olympics athlete for 10 years. He has participated in many of the Special Olympics sports over the years. He is currently involved in floor hockey, athletics, bowling, Club Fit, curling, golf, powerlifting, softball, and swimming.
Steven has participated in Provincial Games twice previously in powerlifting and track and field. He will be attending his third Provincial Games in Vernon in February as a player for the Kelowna floor hockey team. He also takes part in Fundraising for Special Olympics when the opportunity comes up.
In the community Steven works at a part-time job at the Station Barbecue Smokehouse restaurant and volunteers for Salvation Army; he is also a helpful and supportive son and grandson, always willing to help out when needed, and loves taking the family dog Lahela for walks. He enjoys going for coffee, out to movies and concerts, and is a devoted fan of the Vernon Vipers and Vancouver Canucks.
Justin Sigal, cross country skiing
I have been involved with Special Olympics BC – Vernon for about nine years. My current sports are cross country skiing, Club Fit, and golf. I have participated in alpine skiing, athletics, and bowling.
I made it all the way to the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in cross country skiing. It was tough, but amazing.
I like the variety of techniques you do when cross country skiing. My other interests include biking, walking, Toast Masters, and watching the Oilers, Raptors, and Blue Jays. My favorite type of music is up-beat dancing music.
My plan for the 2019 SOBC Games is to do my BEST and have FUN!