Abbotsford’s Paige Norton is one of the local athletes representing Team BC at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games later this month.

Abbotsford athletes named to BC Special Olympics squad

Abbotsford set to be represented in speed skating, floor hockey and bowling

Abbotsford is set to be well represented at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games later this month.

The event, which runs from Feb. 25 to 29 in Thunder Bay, Ont., will see a total of 143 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 42 volunteer coaches represent Team BC.

Abbotsford athletes heading to Ontario are floor hockey player Austin Johnston and speed skaters Paige Norton and Chris Hamilton. Local coaches Leslie Bowling (bowling), Bruce Watkins (floor hockey) and Donna Bilous (speed skating) will also be making the trip.

Norton is one of the most decorated Abbotsford-based Special Olympics athletes ever, earning the 2019 Special Olympics British Columbia Athletic Achievement Awards in 2017 and winning medals at both national and international events during her career on ice. She also won the SOBC Achievement Award in 2011.

RELATED: Abbotsford’s Norton wins SOBC award

Norton’s mother, Donna Bilous, was named to the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 and has earned several accolades for her years coaching in the Special Olympics system.

Hamilton heads to the Games after a strong performance at the 2019 SOBC Winter Games, in which he earned bronze and silver medals. He also attended the 2004 Special Olympics Nationals in Prince Edward Island and also competes in the SO Summer Games in track and field.

Since qualifying for their spots on Team BC 2020 through their performances at the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon, the provincial team athletes and coaches have been hard at work to be at their best at the National Games, training at least three times a week for the last 10 months.

Training has included sport-specific work in local year-round Special Olympics programs, participating in Club Fit, additional fitness and dry-land training, working with sport-specific experts, and focusing on diet and nutrition.

“This is an incredibly well-prepared provincial team. I am so proud of the dedication and effort shown by all of these inspiring athletes, coaches, and volunteers,” stated Michelle Cruickshank, Special Olympics Team BC 2020 Chef de Mission.

“They have been working hard for three years to reach this event, and I know they will do B.C. proud at National Games. Their abilities and their sportsmanship will inspire everyone watching.”

Special Olympics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Abbotsford Hospice Society holds community scavenger hunt

Road to Gratitude event takes place on Sunday, July 19 by the carload

New book celebrates people and events that shaped Abbotsford

Pre-sales launched for Abbotsford – A Diverse Tapestry, to be released in fall

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Fraser Valley

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read