Campbell River’s Callum Maclagan competes in the power lifting competition at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, NS.

Special Olympians make Campbell River proud at nationals

Athletes achieve medals, personal bests in Nova Scotia

Campbell River’s Special Olympics athletes came home with an impressive collection of medals from the recent national games.

The games were held in Antigonish, N.S., from July 31 to Aug. 4, with Campbell River sending a contingent of five athletes and three coaches to the event.

RELATED STORY: Campbell River send five to Nova Scotia for Special Olympics nationals

Track athletes Ashley Adie and Hazen Meade, basketball player Nathan Luoma, powerlifter Callum Maclagan and swimmer Paul Aubuchon were joined by local coaches Sandy Ott, Ann Jorgensen and George Maclagan as part of the 244-member team representing B.C. (Another athlete, Gabe Young, competed in the National Bowling Championships in May in P.E.I. and won a silver in 10-pin bowling.)

Each athlete brought home at least one medal and a few set personal bests for results. Adie, for example, set three personal best performances to go with her trio of medals.

“I went in with a dead-set goal of meeting or beating my personal bests,” she said. “When I got my first medal, which was the gold, I was crying, I was so happy…. The competition’s a bit more stiff than I had anticipated.”

She admits the trip was exhausting, saying it was “go-go-go,” but she credits the host communtiy for making everyone feel welcome.

“Their hospitality was amazing, they bent over backwards for us,” she said. “They treated us like celebrities.”

As a coach, George Maclagan sung the praises of all the athletes from Campbell River.

“They’re good citizens, they represented the community really well,” he said, adding Mayor Andy Adams had given them pins to hand out to people they met in Nova Scotia.

The athletes qualified based on performances in Kamloops in 2017, as well as being endorsed by their community, and Maclagan credited them for their commitment to their training and their coaches. He personally could attest for the development Callum had shown over the past year.

“What he was finishing with a year ago in Kamloops as a personal best became openers for him,” he said.

Maclagan paid credit to all the local athletes for the work they put in, as well as their strong results.

“Ashley did incredibly well, Hazen did incredibly well, Nathan, at 17, to win a gold with a team out of Kelowna, he had to commit to training with a team that’s in the centre of B.C. It’s just a huge story,” he said. “Paul Aubuchan swam as hard and as well as he has in all his swimming career.”

For its regular activies, Special Olympics relies on events like the upcoming Howie Meeker Golf Classic to raise funds to cover programming and travel.

“Everything about Special Olympics is sport, but it’s so much more,” Maclagan added. “It’s just so much more.”

RELATED STORY: Campbell River getting close to full

Results from the Games:

Paul Aubuchon, Swimming

100m Back 4th 2:28

400m Freestyle BRONZE

100m Freestyle 2:08 False start

200m Freestyle GOLD 4;40.

50m Backstroke 5th 1:04.84

Ashley Adie, Track

Three personal best performances

Shotput, 5th 23.26

Long Jump GOLD 9.9 metres

800m SILVER 2:53

4×4 Relay BRONZE

Hazen Meade, Track

Two personal best performances

3000m GOLD 11:47

1500m SILVER 5.12.

Standing Long Jump 5th 5’9”.

Nathan Luoma, Basketball

Member of the B.C. Ogopogos. GOLD

Callum MacLagan, Powerlifting

Bench Press. GOLD, 308LB, a personal best

Male Squat SILVER 336LB

Male Dead Lift BRONZE 440

Combine Lift SILVER 1084

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