Special Olympians get taste of winter

The Development Games, hosted by Special Olympics Yukon at the Canada Games Centre on Saturday, have a fitting name.

The Development Games, hosted by Special Olympics Yukon at the Canada Games Centre on Saturday, have a fitting name.

Not only are the Games about developing skills in the long-term, they are about developing interests in new sports in the short.

“The event as a whole was fantastic,” said Serge Michaud, executive director of Special Olympics Yukon. “Everything we tried to accomplish with the Development Games was accomplished this weekend.

“The goal of the Games is purely participation. We didn’t record any times – we don’t care who finishes first or last. It’s all about trying new sports and participating in sport.

“There were athletes who never skated before who were on the ice, trying it, and that’s what we wanted.”

Saturday’s third annual Games, which saw more than 30 Olympians out, were the first to offer a winter sport, speed skating, along with golf, floor hockey and swimming. The two previous Development Games were held outdoors during summer months and featured soccer, athletics, bocce and basketball.

“We wanted to do something during the winter because there were a couple sports we couldn’t do outdoors, such as swimming and speed skating,” said Michaud. “We wanted to expand the sports that we offer.

“For the athletes who are registered in those sport programs (already), it was a chance for them to showcase their skills in front of a local audience.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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