Special Olympic athletes bring medals him to Alberni

Port Alberni figure skater Johanna Hamblin earned gold with her performance at the Special Olympics Winter Championships in Coquitlam.

Johanna Hamblin checks to see if her gold medal is real.

A trip to the Special Olympics Winter Championships turned golden for Port Alberni figure skater Johanna Hamblin.

Hamblin, 22, won gold in the Level 3 Ladies competition, a level she just entered earlier this year.

Hamblin, will have a week break then will head to Halifax for a Special Olympics national competition. She has been skating at least twice a week leading up to the nationals. Her coach, Jean Leshures, has choreographed a jazzy number from The Sting for Hamblin’s performance.

Hamblin joined several other Port Alberni figure skaters at the Special Olympics Winter Championships held at the Coquitlam Sports Centre last weekend.

In other results, Kim Geisbrecht won bronze in Level 3 ladies and Kari Trott placed fourth. Michelle MacDonald won a bronze medal in Level 2 Ladies. Matthew MacDonald earned silver in Level 2 Men’s and Colin Teichman won the bronze medal in the same category. All skaters are from the Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club.

“We are very proud of them all,” said Special Olympics co-ordinator Anne Evans.

Port Alberni’s curling team came back from the provincials with a bronze medal in the C Division. Curlers competing were Cody Booth, Tyler Vankooten, Jade Villandre, Michael Booth and Simone Meyers.

Port Alberni split their first two games, then faced Oceanside from Parksville in their final game. They earned three points in the first end and two more in the second.

“We owned the game until the fourth end,” said Vankooten, who plays third. That’s when Oceanside finally got on the board. However, Port Alberni was able to keep ahead of them and by the time the six-end game was over, Port Alberni won 8–2.

“It was hard competing,” Vankooten said, but the best part of the competition was making new friends, he added.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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