Meet Coach Laura Murphy

Special Olympics – Vernon coach Laura Murphy has quickly embraced the inclusivity and empowerment of Special Olympics. Involved for over two years, Murphy has collected many memorable experiences. Many of those memories have recently come from being part of Special Olympics Team BC 2024!

Laura Murphy self-portrait

Murphy was the coach for Langley’s curling team who competed with pride at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024 from February 29 to March 3. This was her first National Games experience, and she was amazed at the power of inclusion and joy through sport on the national level.

“It’s hard to put into just a few words the overwhelming feelings and emotions that describe my overall experience,” Murphy says. “The overall team sportsmanship and camaraderie was evident everywhere you looked. The chant of ‘Go Team BC, go!’ still resonates in my mind.”

The support of SO Team BC 2024 was not only heard by many, but as Murphy recalls, it was also seen by many – notably through some blue nail polish!

“Prior to leaving, I wanted to do something blue to support SO Team BC,” Murphy said. “Initially I thought about coloring my hair blue, but then decided nail polish was the better choice – a choice that made a difference.”

“During the opening ceremonies at curling, one of our athletes was overcome with emotion. On the way back to the hotel, she noticed my nails and asked if she too could have hers painted blue.”

“Having downtime in the athlete’s lounge, I brought the nail polish and painted her nails. The process brought a smile to her face and a sense of calm.”

“Then, our Langley curling team put their hands in. Some had their pinkies painted, while others painted all 10 nails. It became our symbol of support.”

“Word got around and spread like wildfire about supporting SO Team BC with blue. Athletes, coaches, and mission staff jumped in to sport the blue. Even volunteers, paramedics, and officials from Calgary joined in the ‘BC Blue’ movement!”

Group photo of curling athletes showing their blue nails
SO Team BC curling athletes showing off their BC Blue!

“It was truly a wonderful team-building experience and a sign of support and sportsmanship. Something so simple brought about laughter, smiles, and pure joy to so many.”

For Murphy, these off-ice memories make her coaching experiences worth the effort and dedication.

“I am so grateful to have been able to coach such a wonderful and talented group of athletes,” Murphy says. “Being part of the Special Olympics is an extraordinary experience. It’s incredible to be part of something bigger than myself and make a difference in an athlete's life.”

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Learn more about SO Team BC 2024