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'It means a world to compete': Manitoba athletes head to Special Olympics Canada Winter Games

'It means a world to compete': Manitoba athletes head to Special Olympics Canada Winter Games

Team Manitoba athletes were sent off in style to this year's Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.

The Manitoba branch of the charity hosted a send-off and good luck party for the athletes set to compete for our province at this year's Games in Calgary.

William Middleton heads west to compete in snowshoeing, marking his first appearance at the Games. He's excited to see the mountains and compete head-to-head in the sport he loves.

“This means competing with the world,” he told reporters at the farewell ceremony.

Middleton is one of 58 local athletes competing in the games from Feb. 27 to March 2 in everything from five-pin bowling to curling and speed skating.

Like the Olympic Games, the National Games are held every two years and alternate between summer and winter.

Melissa Suggett, director of marketing for Special Olympics Manitoba, says the games give athletes a sense of belonging and purpose.

“They can make friends. They can show off their skills. They have abilities that I think sometimes society doesn't give them credit for,” Sujit said.

And while she says going to the Games means a lot more than just winning, Suggett is confident our Manitoba athletes can bring home some hardware.

“We're very competitive and our athletes are ready to take it on. They're ready to run, play floor hockey and skate. They're just ready to bring it. I've seen them practice. I've seen them train, and I think it's very likely we'll see some medals come home to Manitoba.”

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