Speed Skating

Cheer on our speed skating athletes as they go for gold in Austria in 2017.

Athletes

Aimee Gordon
NS

Aimee Gordon hails from Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia and has been involved with Special Olympics for 30+ years. She credits Special Olympics for giving her lots of opportunities and allowing her to stay active and social. Being named to Team Canada for speed skating is a “big accomplishment” for Aimee. When she’s not speed skating, she can be found swimming, bowling, playing softball and participating in athletics.

Goal for Austria 2017: “Speed skate and win a medal!”

Evan James
AB

Evan is extremely proud to be able to represent his country in Austria in 2017. The speed skating athlete has been involved with Special Olympics for 12-years and says he is extremely “thankful for the opportunity.” Special Olympics has helped change his life by allowing him to learn more about sports, to get stronger and achieve personal bests. When he’s not participating in sports with Special Olympics, Evan can be found biking, snowboarding, paintballing and training.

Goal for Austria 2017: “Meeting new competitors.”

Katie Saunders

Katie, a native of Calgary, Alberta, is excited to be a part of her fourth World Games, having competing in 2007, 2013 and again in 2015. She credits Special Olympics with encouraging her to become more physically active and becoming more of a leader, as she currently sits on the Special Olympics Canada board of directors as the athlete representative. Katie’s involvement with Special Olympics stems from her parents, who both coach golf, as well as her mom serving on the board of directors for Special Olympics Alberta. Katie is thrilled to be going to Austria and is excited to try her best and have fun while there.

Matthew Williams
BC

Matthew Williams hails from Langley, BC and has been involved with Special Olympics for 11-years. Matthew, former Special Olympics Global Ambassador, credits Special Olympics with allowing him to be himself and encouraging him to live a fit, healthy lifestyle. One of his greatest accomplishments so far was giving a TED Talk in Vancouver, and being able to have dinner at the White House. Being a member of the speed skating team going to Austria means a lot to Matthew, as he is honoured and proud to represent his country. When he’s not playing sports or training, Matthew loves to travel, public speak, and spend time with his girlfriend.

Goal for Austria 2017: “To achieve a personal best in one of my races.”

Paige Norton
BC

Paige Norton hails from Abbotsford, BC and has been involved with Special Olympics for 12 years. When she’s not participating in speed skating, Paige can be found playing basketball, bocce, golf, soccer, softball and taking part in athletics and swimming. Special Olympics has helped change Paige’s life by keeping her fit and active and allowing her to have a great time with her friends. She is thrilled to be named to Team Canada and is proud of herself and excited to see what Austria has in store!

Goal for Austria 2017: “Do my best and win a medal.”

Phillip Ste-Marie
QC

Philip, a 5-year participant in Special Olympics is excited to go to Austria as it means he’s “competing against the world and it’s a great moment,” for him. A previous World Games attendee, the speed skater is excited to perform on the world stage again. Special Olympics has allowed Philip to make friends and travel around the world, and for that he’s grateful. When Philip is participating in Special Olympics programs, he can be found watching soccer or animé and cartoons.

Goal for Austria 2017: “To enjoy Austria.”

Sara Albers
ON

Sara Albers has been involved with Special Olympics for 10-years and is proud of herself for making it onto Team Canada for Austria 2017. Special Olympics has allowed Sara to keep busy and meet new friends. She loves to play soccer in her spare time and is extremely proud of her personal bests and gold and bronze medals.

Goal for Austria 2017: “Win medals and try my best.”

Stephen Graham
ON

Stephen Graham hails from Orillia, Ontario and is excited, honoured and proud to be representing his country in speed skating in Austria. Stephen credits Special Olympics with allowing him to be a better person. He says some of his greatest accomplishments so far are being Special Olympics Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year, and winning gold medals both at a national and world level.

Goal for Austria 2017: “To stay healthy and take my time.”

Terry Livingstone
SK

Terry has been involved with Special Olympics for over 25-years. One of his greatest accomplishments so far is being named speed skating Male Athlete of the Year, twice! Special Olympics has helped change Terry’s life by allowing him to make new friends from different provinces across Canada. Attending the World Games in Austria is the experience of a lifetime for Terry, and he’s excited to perform at the highest level.

Goal for Austria 2017: “Go out and do my best in Austria and win a gold medal. And have fun!”

Veronique Leblanc
NB

Véronique has been a Special Olympics athlete for 10-years and is excited and proud to be going to her first World Games. In addition to speed skating, Véronique competes in softball, swimming and athletics with Special Olympics. Her greatest accomplishments so far were winning medals at the Special Olympics Canada 2016 Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Special Olympics is important to her because it allows her to make new friends and be in better health. In her spare time, she loves to watch hockey and spend time with her family.

Goal for Austria 2017: “Make new friends.”

Head Coach

Donna Bilous
BC

Donna has been involved with Special Olympics for 13 years getting involved once her daughter was old enough to take part in sport. Special Olympics is such a big part of Donna’s family life; it has given her daughter and herself so many opportunities but most importantly a healthy active lifestyle.   Donna has had the honor to have been selected to represent Canada at 4 Special Olympics World Games in both soccer and speed skating. This will be her third Special Olympics World Winter Games as head coach for Short Track Speed Skating. She is so proud to represent her country, to represent Special Olympics and the sport of speed skating. She is looking forward to Team Canada athletes competing on the world stage and for them to feel that pride of representing Canada. She looks forward to meeting up with old friends, making new ones and for our team to experience all that Austria has to offer.

Goal for Austria 2017: My goal for these games is to have our team as prepared as they can be to compete on the world stage. I want them to skate to the best of their ability and for them to experience all the games have to offer; from host town, the thrill of competition, opening ceremonies. I want them to make new friends, to be great ambassadors for Canada and to do it all with respect, sportsmanship and friendship.

Female Coaches

Sacha LeBlanc
NB

Sacha first got involved in speed skating in the early 90s. She competed in both short and long track and later transitioned to coaching. She has coached skaters of all levels from learn to skate to competitive athletes and, for the past 7 years, she has been a coach with Special Olympics. She is a firm believer that sport is a school of life and speed skating has played a big part of shaping the person she is today. Being involved with Special Olympics allows Sacha to give back to the community and to give athletes with intellectual disabilities the chance to experience all the benefits that sports provide. This will be her first time at the World Games

Goal for Austria 2017: Every one of our athletes reaches his or her individual goals and experiences games to the fullest.

Male Coaches

Cyril MacDonald
NS

Cyril hails from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and has been involved with Special Olympics for over 7 years. He started coaching while in high school when he was 15, and has never turned back. Now, 22 years old, he is the Assistant Regional Coordinator for his region, as well as a curling coach, speed skating coach, bocce coach, chef de mission for Provincial Summer Games, and has coached on 2 National Games teams in Vancouver, BC, and Corner Brook, NFLD. He has immersed himself in Special Olympics, and Special Olympics has become a huge part of his life. Special Olympics has molded him as a person, and has made him into the person he is today. Being involved in Special Olympics means the World to Cyril. He has made lifelong friends from one side of the country to another, and soon, from one side of the World to the other. Austria will be his first World Games, and he is so excited to be part Team Canada, and to wear our Maple Leaf with pride. GO CANADA!!!

Goal for Austria 2017: To ensure my athletes have the most amazing, and positive games experience possible!

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