Gold Sponsoring the Smiles, Spirit and Medals at the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games

Jul 31, 2014 4:00 PM ET
Red Lake Bowling team members Brittany O'Donnell and Zacchary Parthenay

For the first time in more than 20 years, British Columbia got the Games back! On July 8th, the city of Vancouver welcomed over 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials from across Canada for the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.

This year, the Games added three new sports to its lineup: Golf, Basketball and Bocce, making it the largest Canadian games ever with a total of 11 sports.

The four day event was the culmination of years and months of commitment from athletes, coaches and volunteers and the result was a well-attended event and a truly memorable experience for all. For some athletes, it was the first time on a plane. For others, it was the first time away from their parents and many grew and developed far past their parents or coaches expectations.

Goldcorp was thrilled to play a part in making the Games a success by being a Gold Sponsor. But our history with Special Olympics runs much deeper, spanning eight years. The partnership Goldcorp has built with the BC Special Olympics division has helped the organization more than double its youth programs offered throughout the province and has had a lasting, positive impact for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Goldcorp was also proud that three participating athletes were children of employees at Red Lake mine and Porcupine mine. Red Lake Bowling team members Brittany O'Donnell and Zacchary Parthenay, children of Red Lake employees Heather and Mark O’Donnell and Diana and Shawn Parthenay, placed fourth in their division in five-pin bowling. Brittany received a well-earned Silver Metal in her female category and Zacc, who received four silver medals at the provincial games in Kingston in 2012, bowled a personal best, 38 points above his average.

The ever powerful Eric Kaiji, son of Paul Kaiji from Porcupine mine, placed second in his division for powerlifting, heaving a whopping 417 pounds!

Throughout the week of competition spirits were high, records were broken and personal bests were achieved. The medal count totaled 2,214. The athletes inspired us all with their tenacity and efforts to achieve their goals at this world class event. An event that left a lasting impression on everyone involved and permanent smiles on the athlete’s faces, who are no doubt eagerly anticipating the next summer national games in 2018!