Sports

Special Olympics: golden athletes from Parksville Qualicum Beach

Amanda Stewart and Mark Blasco had a great showing at the nationals for Special Olympic athletes in Vancouver. Both Amanda and Mark brought home multiple medals from their events.  - Tyson Taylor Photo
Amanda Stewart and Mark Blasco had a great showing at the nationals for Special Olympic athletes in Vancouver. Both Amanda and Mark brought home multiple medals from their events.
— image credit: Tyson Taylor Photo

Amanda Stewart and Mark Blasco have returned from the nationals for Special Olympics each with a gold medal.

More than 1,300 athletes participated from across Canada in the Nationals, including Oceanside’s very own Amanda and Mark. Winning three medals in total at the competition, Amanda received a gold medal in the women’s 25-meter freestyle, a silver in the women’s 50-meter backstroke and a bronze in the women’s 25-meter backstroke.

Mark also brought home multiple medals from the Nationals, earning a gold in the men’s 50-meter freestyle and a bronze in the men’s relay. Both Amanda and Mark are very happy about bringing home their Medals and sharing their experiences with all their supporters.

“Amanda and Mark would like to thank the Ravensong staff and the patrons of the pool who have supported them all the way through their hard training,” coach Rosey Cowan said. “They’ve had lots of encouragement and high fives from a lot of people and they really enjoy having that support from the community.”

“All coaches are volunteers and without them Amanda and Mark would never have had this opportunity to go to the Nationals. Our swim coaches went above and beyond this year to help train Amanda and Mark. They prepared them, to travel to the Nationals , had them feeling strong, prepared and ready to win.”

Amanda and Mark’s coaches Ken, Garfield, Sue and Rosey all helped in their training while volunteering their time to join Amanda and Mark in their journey. Head Coach John Larner has been training Special Olympic Athletes for years and has been on the receiving end of many “high tens” from his Athletes.

“John has been coaching our Special Olympic Athletes for many, many years, encouraging them to succeed, always with fun and enthusiasm in the mix,” Cowan said. “It has been John’s long time superb coaching that has brought our Mark and Amanda to the Nationals.”

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