Spirit of Sport Award

The Spirit of Sport Award is presented annually to a male or female Special Olympics BC athlete who exemplifies the true meaning of sportsmanship.

The Special Olympics Athlete's Oath states, 'Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.' This athlete lives by our athlete's oath and is an inspiration to fellow athletes and coaches. This athlete shows dedication, enthusiasm and always gives their best effort.

2018 Spirit of Sport Award winner: Matthew Lia

SOBC Spirit of Sport Award

A hardworking and conscientious athlete, Special Olympics BC – Richmond’s Matthew Lai always tries his best and cheers on his teammates. Lai is a strong role model and the deserving winner of SOBC’s 2018 Spirit of Sport Award.

Lai constantly impresses SOBC – Richmond coaches and volunteers with his love of sport and commitment to training. A Special Olympics BC athlete of more than 17 years, Lai has participated in many sports, including 5-pin bowling, athletics, Club Fit, and figure skating. In all his sports, he works hard to perform at a high level and set personal bests, but takes setbacks with a smile and is always a good sport. 

A friendly and compassionate person, Lai makes an effort to ensure others feel welcome. He is always ready to support his Local, and is consistently one of the first people to offer to help out at SOBC – Richmond events. 

“Matthew is always seen cheering someone on with a huge smile on his face. He talks to everyone and compliments them on a job well done. Matthew will partner up with anyone and ensure they have a great time in whatever sport or event he is at,” his nominators wrote. 

A graceful and impressive figure skater, Lai sets a strong example for other athletes on the ice. A highly dedicated athlete, he has worked hard to develop his skills, and improvements he has made to his conditioning have led to strong results in the rink and on the track. 

Thank you, Matthew, for inspiring others through your remarkable sportsmanship and work ethic! 

Special Olympics BC sincerely congratulates all of the other nominees for the 2018 Spirit of Sport Award:

  • Jason Pappas, SOBC – Grand Forks 
  • Michaela Robinson, SOBC – Surrey 
  • Adrian Rosen, SOBC – Prince George 
  • Kendall Salanski, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook 
  • Pauline Shaw, SOBC – Victoria
  • Brad Smith, SOBC – Delta 

Past Spirit of Sport Award recipients: