Special Olympians bring medals home

Jonathan Robins and Erin Thom had a successful trip to South Korea, where they took on the world.

Jonathan Robins and Erin Thom both earned medals while competing at the Special Olympics World Winter Games at the beginning of February.

Jonathan Robins and Erin Thom both earned medals while competing at the Special Olympics World Winter Games at the beginning of February.

Two Cranbrook athletes were part of a record-breaking medal count at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea earlier in February.

Jonathan Robins and Erin Thom represented their city, province and country as Team Canada smashed it’s record by tallying 109 medals—eight more than the previous record set in 2009.

Robins competed in alpine skiing and captured a bronze medal and also finished sixth in giant slalom, while Thom took a silver in advanced giant slalom and a bronze medal in advanced super G.

This was Robins’ first time competing in the Olympics after 12 years of skiing with the local branch of Special Olympics. After the first day of practice, Robins was bumped up from intermediate to advanced competition.

Thom has made four trips to the World Games and has been involved with Special Olympics for the last 21 years. Outside of skiing, Thom also participates in bowling, golf, powerlifting, softball and swimming.

“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 Dan Howe, Special Olympics B.C. president and CEO. “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.”

Robins and Thom will keep themselves busy with their sporting endeavours over the next few months and into the summer.

The two will be joined by Jesse Jensen, Neil Rye, Kendall Salanski and Roxanna Podrasky at a Snow Sports Festival in Kelowna at the beginning of March. The local Special Olympic branch will also be participating in the provincial Summer Games in Langley in July.

The Summer Games softball team will have a few additions, with bowler Corinna MacKay and swimmers Lincoln Harrison and Mark Skelton joining the group.