Team Yukon finished second in team competition and won three individual medals at the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Bowling Championships in Prince Edward Island. Front row (left to right): Mallory Pigage, Hayley Halushka, Wayne Thomas and Lisa Bachli Back row: Lorrie Thomas, mission staff, coach Krista McKinnon, Garry Chaplin and Brettanie Deal-Porter, chef de mission. (Submitted/Special Olympics Yukon)

Yukon bowlers win handful of medals at Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships

‘They came back and the other athletes had something to cheer about’

The Special Olympics Canada 2018 Bowling Championships were in Prince Edward Island from May 14 to 20 and the Yukon had an impressive showing in five-pin bowling, winning three individual medals and silver in team competition.

In team competition, the five Yukon bowlers finished second in their division after matches against three teams from Alberta, two from Ontario, one from Manitoba and one from Saskatchewan.

The top-three finish meant Team Yukon qualified for the Saturday “roll off” medal round.

The Yukon beat Manitoba in the second versus third match for a berth in the finals, where they lost to Saskatchewan.

In individual competition, three bowlers earned medals.

Mallory Pigage and Garry Chaplin both won gold in their divisions, and Wayne Thomas won silver.

Lisa Bachli and Hayley Halushka finished seventh and sixth respectively in their divisions.

More than 400 athletes from across the country were at the bowling championships hosted jointly by the communities of Charlottetown, Summerside and Tyne Valley, Prince Edward Island. The championship included both five- and 10-pin divisions.

Although usually a part of the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, the sport was spun off this year because of a lack of suitable venues in the 2018 host community of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Serge Michaud, executive director of Special Olympics Yukon, said results this year were very similar to those at the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver when the team again won silver and three bowlers won individual medals.

Calling this event the “first phase” of the Summer Games, Michaud said it’s good motivation for the other athletes.

“I would say that the bowlers are just the first wave of athletes going to the Summer Games,” said Michaud. “They came back and the other athletes had something to cheer about. Now they’ve got to step up their game.”

Athletes from the Yukon will be competing in soccer, bocce, athletics, swimming and rhythmic gymnastics at the games in Antigonish from July 31 to August 4.

While athletes are busy preparing for the competition, Michaud said fundraising efforts are underway to help support the team’s trip.

Special Olympics Yukon is hosting a magic show called Abraca Dazzle on June 6 and 7 at Christ the King Elementary in Whitehorse. Tickets to the show are $20 each or $60 for a family of four.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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