Chilliwack athletes off to Special Olympics in Vancouver

National gold winning powerlifter Lisa Newell is off to the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver.  - Submitted
National gold winning powerlifter Lisa Newell is off to the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver.
— image credit: Submitted

Chilliwack representatives will look to swim and powerlift their way to the podium this July when the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games return to Vancouver.

Six local athletes will be competing as a part of the largest squad Team BC has put together in the history of the Games.

Among them is Special Olympics World Games gold medalist swimmer, Ryan Kuester, and fellow aquatics teammates Justin Forseth and Melinda Franson.

Also looking to power to the top of the medal race are national gold winning powerlifter Lisa Newell, and fellow lifter Joanne Bunnin. Jeramy Huskins-Markham will help represent the province as a member of the basketball team.

The local competitors will join 1,700 participants vying for the opportunity to advance to the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

The last time the Games were in Vancouver was in 1990, and British Columbia’s team is gearing up to make a statement.

“Our athletes are going to be ready to dominate on home soil,” said Shawn Fevens, Team BC chef de mission.

“Team BC has a dedicated and talented group of athletes and coaches who have been working hard for three years to reach this level.”

Fevens said he is confident the athletes will inspire viewers with their sportsmanship and talent.

Athletes will have more events to compete in this year with the addition of 5-pin and 10-pin bowling, as well as athletics, bringing the total to 11 different sport categories.

• The Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games will take place July 8 to 12 and is hosted at the University of British Columbia.

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