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13 Yukon athletes headed to Special Olympics Canada's 2024 Winter Games

13 Yukon athletes headed to Special Olympics Canada's 2024 Winter Games

Curler Brandle Brunau will serve as Yukon's flag bearer at the 2024 Winter Games

Thirteen Yukon athletes have been selected to represent the territory at the upcoming Special Olympics Canada 2024 Winter Games, which will be held in Calgary, Alberta, from February 27 to March 2.

It was officially unveiled at a 'send-off' event held at a White Horse hotel in the city center on February 15.

Yukon's Special Olympics team includes five-pin bowlers, curlers, snowboarders and cross-country skiers.

The bowlers are Gary Chaplin, Duncan McRae, Bobby Ray Patchett, Mallory Begage, and Gracie Rickman, the rollers are Brandel Bruno, Edward Kaye, Gaetan “Gates” Michaud, and Cary Rudolph, and the cross-country skiers are Ernest Chua and Darby McIntyre. And Owen Munro.

The only skier to represent Yukon is Mike Sumner, who was recently honored with three awards at the 2023 Yukon Sportsman of the Year Awards on February 12. Sumner has received the Prime Minister's Award for Sports Excellence and the Minister's Award for Sports Recognition, along with being named the best male figure skater. “Athlete of the Year” by Special Olympics Yukon.

The 13 athletes who will represent Yukon at the upcoming Special Olympics Canada 2024 Winter Games, being held in Calgary from February 27 to March 2. Team Yukon was officially unveiled to the public at an event on February 15. Matthew Bossons/Yukon News)

Sumner undisputedly won the gold medal at the 2023 Canadian Winter Games on Prince Edward Island in the Special Olympics Men's Individual Figure Skating Level III event. He also received the Pat Lechelt True Sport Award.

At the sports awards ceremony, Sumner told… News He is aiming to do his best at the upcoming 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games and hopefully win another gold medal.

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The athletes will be accompanied to the Games by a team of coaches and mission staff.

During the “send-off” event, which included speeches from local politicians and supporters and a musical performance, Yukon's flag bearer for the 2024 Winter Games was revealed as curling team member Bruno.

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Kwanlin Dun First Nation Chief Shaun Smith gave an impassioned speech to athletes and attendees at a “farewell” event for Yukon participants at the upcoming 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary. (Matthew Bossons/Yukon News)

Talking to NewsBruno said he was surprised to be revealed as the flag bearer and that he felt “relieved” to be given the honor.

Andrew Ellens, the team's mission chief (read: team leader), is excited to travel to Calgary and showcase what Special Olympics Yukon athletes are made of on a national stage.

“I really hope these guys can go and showcase what they're capable of and have fun doing it,” Ellins said.

“I just want to go out there and have a good time with this crew.”

-With files from Dana Hatherley

Contact Matthew Bossons on [email protected]

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