Tye Cranton has been a Special Olympic athlete since the fall of 2012. He is in it for the heavy lifting.
“I always like powerlifting,” he said. “That is why I got involved with Special Olympics in the first place.”
Cranston has participated in competitions across the Island and as far away as Vancouver.
Powerlifting is a big commitment. Cranton is in the gym practicing his bench presses, deadlifts and squats four times a week with his three other teammates.
As well as nurturing his love for the sport, Special Olympics has given Cranton the opportunity to expand his social life. He goes out with his teammates after practices and is more social at larger events.
Cranton said that being a Special Olympian has also taught him to treat others with respect and be a team player.
“It shows me how to be a good athlete and I made a few friends,” he said.
Cranton has won medals for powerlifting and a few ribbons for bowling. He also participates in curling and track and field. Last winter he competed in the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships.
Through the Association of Community Living, Cranton works at Shoppers Drug Mart, Confidential Paper Shredding and lawn mowing.
His mother, Terri Cranton, said that when he isn’t working, he’s out watching and supporting his friends in their sports.
This year he was awarded the Campbell River Spirit of Sport Award. This award recognizes one athlete’s dedication and enthusiasm. They are an inspiration to their fellow athletes and coaches for living by the Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win, and if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
In a speech Cranton wrote for Special Olympics and had his mom read for him, he said that Special Olympics gave him the opportunity to be someone extraordinary, to be a role model, to be a friend and to be himself.
Cranton will be helping with set up as well as caddying at this year’s Howie Meeker Golf Classic.