1:30 p.m., March 28)
Local Special Olympian returns from World Games with three
By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star
mission statement of the Special Olympics organization
is to provide the opportunity for individuals with
intellectual disabilities to discover new strengths, abilities
and success through the power of sports and to find joy,
confidence and fulfillment both on the playing field
and in life. And in doing so, they inspire
people in their communities and elsewhere to open their
hearts to a wider world of human talents and
Dooks proudly displays one of the three silver
medals he won at the Special Olympic World
Winter Games in Austria last week.. Brian
Dooks knows this first-hand, both as a coach and as a
parent. His son, Kevin, just returned with the rest of
the family from the Special Olympics World Games in Austria,
where he won a trio of silver medals in snow-shoeing.
was ecstatic from beginning to end, Brian Dooks
said in an interview with the Orléans Star
shortly after the family returned from Europe. He
always had a smile on his face. He was thrilled. We were
over the moon about the whole thing.
was part of the Canadian team that boasted 148 athletes,
coaches and officials. In total, more than 2,600 athletes
from 105 countries took part in the World Winter Games,
and each athlete was paired with a local high school student
who acted as liaisons.
was a fantastic experience, says Dooks. The
opening ceremonies were a little wet and the first day
of competition was rained out, but they managed to get
in all the events during the Games. The organization was
amazing. Ive been involved with Special Olympics
for 15 years and this was my first World Games and it
was just spectacular.
Special Olympian Kevin Dooks competes in the
snowshoe event at the Special Olympic World
Winter Games in Austria last week. Brian Dooks/Photo
who is developmentally delayed, has been participating
in sports since 2000 when his parents introduced him to
bowling a sport he still does along with track
and field. He took up snowshoeing five years ago to replace
downhill skiing as a winter activity.
the time, his parents had no idea how far it would take
him, or that he would one day have the chance to represent
his country on the international stage.
earned a berth on the Canadian team after participating
in the national Special Olympic Winter Games last year.
father says the experienec has had postive impact on Kevins
self-confidence and personality.
taking part in the Special Olympics, Kevin was very much
introverted and shy, but since hes become involved,
especially during the past year taking part in
nationals and preparing for the World Games its
really brought out his personality a lot, says Brian
Dooks whos coached at the national level and at
a number of provincial Special Olympic Games.
currently runs a bowling program for individuals with
intellectual disabilities at the Orléans Bowling
Centre on Monday nights and he coaches track and field.
of children with an intellectual disability who want to
find out more about the Special Olympics program should
visit the Special Olympics Ontario Greater Ottawa
website at ottawa.specialolympicsontario.ca.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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