Campbell River’s Hazen “Blazin’” Meade has been earned this year’s Athlete of the Year Award by Special Olympics Canada.
Meade has been a Special Olympics British Columbia athlete for 25 years, participating in swimming, snowshoe, softball, club fit and athletics. Throughout his career, Meade has won two medals for Team Canada at World Games and has also earned 16 medals at National Games.
Meade formally received his award on Dec. 2 at the 33rd National Awards Night hosted virtually on TSN. Each year, Special Olympics Canada recognizes athletes, coaches, and volunteers from across the country who exemplify the spirit and essence of the movement.
“It was amazing,” said Meade, of recieving the award. “This is my first national award, and it also came with a ring — like a Stanley Cup ring, a Super Bowl ring, or a World Series Ring. You name it.”
Meade has been taking part in SOBC’s Provincial Challenge Games during the pandemic. This seven-week physical activity challenge encourages athletes to get physically fit and participate in healthy behaviours to earn points for regional teams. Meade has been an “outstanding participant,” averaging more than 74 points a week, according to Special Olympics Canada.
He has also been helping a fellow athlete, Ashley Adie, with her training for Special Olympics World Games 2022.
“I’m helping her become a better runner,” he said. “She’s going to Russia in 2023.”
Special Olympics competitions helps more people enjoy sports, he said.
“It helps train new people and to have fun and do your best.”