Island Special Olympians win medals in Korea at world games

PYEONGCHANG, KOREA––Manitoulin Special Olympic (MSO) snowshoers Regan Millsap and Kelsey Mellan will be coming home later this week after competing in the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Korea and bringing with them one gold and three silver medals.

Ms. Millsap came in second in the 100 metre snowshoeing race with a time of 20.83 seconds, while Ms. Mellan placed sixth in her division of the 100 metre race with a time of 33.16 seconds.

In the 200 metre race, Ms. Mellan placed fifth with a time of one minute and 26.35 seconds, while Ms. Millsap came in second with a time of 46.75 seconds.

Both athletes also competed in snowshoeing relay races, with Ms. Millsap’s team winning gold in the 4×400 metre race with a finishing time of eight minutes and 59.06 seconds and Ms. Mellan’s team taking silver in the 4×100 metre relay race with a time of two minutes and 44.08 seconds.

The young Manitoulin women and their families joined 141 Canadian athletes, coaches and mission staff in South Korea two weeks ago to compete in World Winter Games.

The eight-day competition ran from January 29 to February 5 and brought together over 3,000 athletes from 120 countries to compete in a world class venue.

Both Regan and Kelsey qualified for Team Canada in snowshoeing after being members of Team Ontario in the National Winter Games, held in 2012 in St. Albert, Alberta where Kelsey brought home gold in both the 100 and 200 metre snowshoe races, while Regan was awarded a gold medal in the 200 metre race and a bronze medal in the 100 metre race.

“They certainly made the Island and Canada proud,” the girl’s MSO snowshoeing coach Judy Olacke commented. “I received a call from the girls Saturday night and I also spoke with their head coach over there and she thanked me for sending such lovely, helpful and patient women. All their handwork certainly paid off. Kelsey even smashed her own personal best time and was moved up into a higher division. I am very proud of them both.”

Robin Burridge