Special Olympics BC – Prince Rupert athlete Stacy Whomes loves spending time with her friends and meeting new people through SOBC.
“Stacy is probably one of the most positive people I know,” says SOBC – Prince Rupert Local Coordinator Grainne Barthe. “She always has a smile on her face and is ready to chat at any time.”
Whomes has been an SOBC athlete for almost 20 years, and she currently participates in basketball, golf, soccer, and swimming. Whomes says Special Olympics is important because it gives people with intellectual disabilities opportunities to do things that everyone else does.
“I am really glad that Special O exists because it gives you opportunities to play sports and meet friends!”
SOBC – Prince Rupert hosted a swim meet on April 27, and Whomes said it was a great experience. Many athletes from across Region 7 attended the event, and Whomes swam to second and third place finishes.
“I was happy about the swim meet – I tried my best! It was fun because I got to meet new people!”
In another highlight from the event, Whomes gave a speech welcoming athletes to the competition. She says this made her happy because she loves public speaking.
Also in April, Whomes attended the 2019 Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership Conference in Richmond. She took part in the Health Messenger course, which is a Special Olympics International program that teaches athletes about health topics such as nutrition, hygiene, fitness, making healthy choices, how to advocate for the health of people with intellectual disabilities, and how to champion access to health in their communities.
Whomes says she looks forward to sharing what she learned with SOBC athletes and other people in Prince Rupert.
“I like to do stuff in the community and I like to talk to people about Special Olympics!” she says.
Whomes said one of her big takeaways from the course was how important it is to stay hydrated in hot weather and during physical activity. She also learned a lot about nutrition, including that many popular beverages contain large amounts of sugar.
One of Whomes’s favourite things about being a Special Olympics athlete is travelling for competitions. Whomes says this makes her feel happy because it allows her to spend time with her teammates and meet new people. She has fond memories of going to Dawson Creek for bowling, Kamloops for snowshoeing, and Mackenzie for swimming.
SOBC – Prince Rupert swimming Head Coach Terry Ramin says Whomes is a great teammate who loves the social aspect of Special Olympics.
“She always has positive things to say about her family and friends,” Ramin says. “She is always one of the first on deck and always has kind words for her teammates and coaches.”
Outside of Special Olympics, Whomes works at the Crest Hotel in the summer, doing jobs like cleaning and folding laundry. She also volunteers with the BC SPCA, where she plays with animals and helps clean.
Whomes says she likes these roles because the people she works with are nice and appreciate what she does. Whomes enjoys talking with her coworkers about Special Olympics, and they are happy for her when she accomplishes something in her sports. Whomes says this makes her feel really good.
Looking forward, Whomes wants to continue having fun with her friends while participating in SOBC sports. She also wants to do more public speaking related to health and the importance of Special Olympics.