Special Olympians bring home the medals

Athletes representing Cranbrook and Kimberley bring back some hardware after competing at the B.C. Summer Games in Langley.

Special Olympians from the Cranbrook and Kimberley area recently returned with some medals in tow following the 2013 B.C. Summer Games. Back row: Head Softball Coach Craig Larson

Special Olympians from the Cranbrook and Kimberley area recently returned with some medals in tow following the 2013 B.C. Summer Games. Back row: Head Softball Coach Craig Larson

A group of Special Olympians have returned with some hardware following the 2013 edition of the B.C. Summer Games in Langley.

Representing the Cranbrook and Kimberley region, over 26 athletes joined up with roughly another 65 to compete for the Kootenay area at the Summer Games.

Athletes competed hard and were rewarded with individual and team honours.

The softball team won a bronze medal in the B division, while the bowlers also captured bronze as well.

Individually, swimmer Robbie Paolini earned a bronze medal in the 100-metre backstroke and 100-metre breaststroke, while Mark Skelton won bronze in the 25-metre backstroke.

Organizers of the event said it was a huge success and the largest-ever Special Olympics in provincial history.

“I think the 2013 SOBC Summer Games a was a great success,” said SOBC chair Pam Keith. “It was well-organized and very well orchestrated overall. The athletes and volunteer coaches were so inspiring both on and off the playing fields and we so appreciated the 1,200 volunteers who worked so hard to deliver such a rewarding and memorable experience for everyone.”

Nearly 600 medals were award in 11 sports as athletes from across B.C. and the Yukon put on a stirring display of the Special Olympics spirit of true sportsmanship, inclusion, inspiration and joy.

“The courage and determination with which these athletes competed in every event was remarkable to behold,” said Games chair Arne Olson. “There is no limit to how hard they try. And the Games showed there is no limit to what they can do. It was incredible to watch.”