Manitoulin Special Olympics snowshoers qualify for national games

The Recorder

MANITOULIN—Several members of the Manitoulin Special Olympics (MSO) snowshoeing team, which brought home a total of 15 medals from the Ontario Special Olympics provincial winter games held earlier this year, have now been selected to compete in the 2020 Canada National Winter Games.

“It is with great pleasure that we make the first announcement for the Team Ontario training squad for the 2020 National Winter Games which will take place in Thunder Bay, Ontario from February 25-29, 2020. The National Games will host 1,185 athletes, coaches and mission staff from across the country,” wrote Team Ontario Chef de Mission Juli Prokopchuk Brattan in making the July 8 announcement. Team Ontario is comprised of 251 athletes, 70 coaches and 16 team management. 

The athletes named to Team Ontario will begin their training immediately in preparation for the National Games with the goal to be selected to Team Canada for the 2021 World Winter Games to be held in Sweden, explained Ms. Prokopchuk. “We feel the members of Team Ontario will represent our province with dignity, respect and with great enthusiasm to perform at their highest ability. We are very excited to be working with the members for National Games.” 

MSO coach Judy Olacke has been named as one of the coaches for Team Ontario at the National Games, with MSO athletes Bruce Van Horn of Mindemoya, Dayne Tipper of Mindemoya, Mark Dokum of Wikwemikong, Normand Daoust of Mindemoya all being named to the Ontario team to compete at the National Games.

The  Ontario Special Olympics Provincial Winter Games were held in Sault Ste. Marie this past February. Mark Dokum  brought home three medals, including first in his division’s 100 metre race with a time of 00:18.09, first in the 200 metre race with a time of 00:44.22 and first in the four by 100 metre relay; Bruce Vanhorn garnered two medals, a first place finish in the 100 metre race in a time of 00:32.71 and second in the 200 metre race in a time of 01:14.62; Norm Daoust-first in both the 100 metre race (in a time of 00:47.72, the 200 metre race in a time of 01:49.34, and second in the 4×100 metre relay; Dayne Tipper placed second in the 400 metre race in a time of 02:53.41 and first in the 800 metre race in a time of 06:21.68 and third in the 4×400 metre relay.