Penticton’s Ray Huson is known around Special Olympics BC for his infectious smile.
The experienced snowshoe, cross-country and bocce coach started volunteering with Special Olympics in 1995.
“I was working at a golf tournament and the then-Local Coordinator mentioned he was looking for someone to volunteer with snowshoeing,” recalled Huson. “I told him I had snowshoed and was interested in volunteering. Before you could say ‘Special Olympics,’ I was signed up, took the NCCP course, and was Head Coach.”
He’s since coached a number of Special Olympics BC provincial teams, as well as the Special Olympics Team Canada 2017 cross-country skiers at the World Games in Austria.
Over the past 24-years his favourite moments are simple.
First, watching four of his own cross-country skiers from Team BC 2016 qualify for the Special Olympics World Games Austria 2017 and “see them excel in all their events and win medals.”
As well as any other time he’s stood at the finish line cheering on his athletes to see that “not only have they got a new personal best, but that they will be on the podium accepting a medal.”
For Huson, coaching is all about helping his athletes git fitter, stronger and faster and “seeing the progress.”
Whether a local Penticton competition, or World Games, Huson is a heartfelt supporter of Special Olympics athletes and encourages anyone to get involved.
“Come out and watch and see the enthusiasm, camaraderie, and talent these athletes have,” he said. "It might sound cliché, but you will always get more than you give!”