Sports

Skiers rise to challenge

PENTICTON’S KEVIN ELLIS,above, and Teneesha Coulson, below, shook off nerves during the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea to win gold medals in their respective events. - Submitted photos
PENTICTON’S KEVIN ELLIS,above, and Teneesha Coulson, below, shook off nerves during the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea to win gold medals in their respective events.
— image credit: Submitted photos

Gold medals dangled from the necks of Kevin Ellis and Teneesha Coulson upon their return from the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea Jan. 30 to Feb. 5.

Ellis took gold in cross country skiing 500-metre distance, while Coulson struck gold in alpine skiing. Ellis completed his event in three minutes, and 16.13 seconds.

It was the first medal Ellis won in world competition as he has won two golds and a silver medal at the national level.

“I can’t believe that I beat other countries,” he said smiling. “I broke down in tears.”

Following his victory, he received a big hug from his coach.

Ellis said his performance at the World Winter Games is his highest athletic achievement.

“Just to get to the worlds, if I got a medal it’s a bonus,” he said. “Representing Canada was amazing and it’s an honour.”

Ellis placed fifth in the 2.5-km distance, which he was moved up a division and fourth in the one-km relay. Competing in a different division, Ellis said the athletes were better.

“They were fast and taller,” said Ellis, who admitted he was nervous before the races. “On the track I was calm and ready.”

Coulson faced the same challenge as Ellis, in being bumped from the intermediate level to advanced in Super G alpine skiing. With that change, her confidence dropped and she felt nervous.

“Advanced is harder,” said Coulson, 19, who started skiing with her father when he was seven and has been part of Special Olympics for five years. “More competition. They were tough.”

Adding to the challenge was skiing on icy snow as it rained the night before. Not used to those conditions, Coulson’s only adjustment was to rely on her edges more on turns. When Coulson’s result finished as the best, she was shocked.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Coulson, who reached her main goal in competing in the Special Olympics World Winter Games.

After experiencing that feeling, Coulson said she wants to experience it again. Ellis feels the same way.

Ellis and Coulson were part of the 141-person team Canada sent that set a new record for this country’s Special Olympics. B.C. athletes contributed eight gold, six silver and five bronze medals.

“The athletes on Special Olympics Team Canada worked hard for four years to qualify to compete in the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, progressing through regional, provincial, and national competitions to reach the world stage,” said Special Olympics B.C. president and CEO Dan Howe in a release. “The B.C. team members were well-prepared and determined competitors who did their province proud as they achieved many medals and personal bests. We are so proud of them and of their dedicated coaches.”

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Olympic hopes bring out best in skier
 
Trio of Penticton athletes win medals at Special Olympic Games
 
Penticton Vees alumnus gets invite to Olympic orientation camp
B.C. champs to be tested early
 
Peewee Rockets Finish Season in Style
 
Heat men in thick of playoff race
Kannibelles devour Spokannibals in derby dust-up
 
SHSS seniors beat Salmo in last game
 
Rebels tie Leafs while crushing Bruins 6 - 2 at home

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event




Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.