They bowled, they swam, they dribbled, they teed off — and they conquered.
Saskatchewan athletes returned home from the Special Olympics World Games with five gold medals around their necks after nine days of competition representing Team Canada in Germany from June 17-25.
Those accomplishments included double gold in bowling for Saskatoon’s Ian Cushon, who celebrated wins in men’s singles (528 points) and men’s doubles (1,033 points) events.
Taylor Carter of Regina topped the world in 9-hole golf with a four-round score of 190. Swift Current’s Tyler Servant swam backstroke in the opening leg for Canada’s championship entry in the 4×50-metre medley relay, the team finishing in a time of 2 minutes 35.78 seconds. And Steven Saman, also of Regina, helped Canada’s five-on-five men’s basketball team to a gold medal, earned with a 25-13 win over South Africa.
Those victories represented five of Canada’s 46 gold medals at the Games, with even more podium finishes yet turned in by Saskatchewan-based athletes.
For Regina powerlifter Aaron Higgins that meant winning silver medals in the squat (177.5 kilograms) and bench press (112.5 kg), bronze in the deadlift (172.5 kg) and another silver for his overall performance in the three events.
Regina’s McKenzie Millar also garnered a silver medal as part of Canada’s five-on-five women’s basketball team, which fell 38-23 to Mali in the championship game.
Bronze medals were won by Saskatoon’s Terra Dagenais, who helped Canada’s seven-a-side soccer team to a 2-1 win over India in the third-place game, and Regina runner Vanessa Gebert as part of Canada’s 4×100 m relay team.
Saskatchewan coaches at the Games included Jackie Powell (swimming), and Ben Lozinsky and Megan Penno (women’s basketball).
In all Canada finished with 96 medals, competing as one of 128 countries at the event.