Two Thompson athletes among 60 Manitobans competing in Special Olympics winter games this February

A pair of Thompson athletes were officially announced Nov. 22 as members of the Special Olympics Manitoba 2020 provincial team that will be competing in the Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ont. Feb. 25-29.

Flora Francois will be competing as a member of Manitoba’s five-pin bowling team. Five-pin bowling is new to the Special Olympics winter games this year, but Francois won a gold medal in London, Ont. in 2010 when it was part of the Special Olympics summer games.

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Also representing Manitoba will be Thompson’s William Hart, who is competing in alpine skiing, a sport he took up about three years ago. Hart competed in the last Special Olympics winter games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland as a figure skater.

Other Special Olympics winter games sports are cross-country skiing, curling, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.

Manitoba will have 60 athletes competing at the games, along with 25 coaches and mission staff. National winter games participants were chosen after the 2019 Special Olympics Manitoba Winter Games in Winnipeg.

“Our athletes are training hard and pushing themselves to be the best they can be,” said Special Olympics Manitoba chef de mission Darren Hemeryck. “We’re really looking forward to Thunder Bay and can’t wait to compete against the rest of the country.”

Thew Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games will feature about  1,200 athletes, coaches and officials overall.

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