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Kelowna Special Olympian wins award for good sportsmanship

Kelowna Special Olympian wins The Spirit of Sport Award

Not even COVID-19 could get Special Olympian Roy Stephens down.

Since his training was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stephens has walked 122-consecutive days.

The multi-sport athlete’s positive attitude and dedication to staying fit during the pandemic have earned Stephens The Spirit of Sport Award. It’s one of many being awarded to athletes by Special Olympics BC. The award is given to athletes who live up to the Special Olympics Athlete Oath:  “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

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“What we teach them in practice, he has also taken that away and shown it into his personal life,” said Special Olympics coach Annabel Stanley.

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The Kelowna athlete — who competes in cross-country skiing and bowling — has been walking the Rail Trail every day, keeping his friends up-to-date on social media and inspiring them to keep training safely.

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“His dedication to not only his own personal health he is eating healthy, exercising and he’s in a community with friends that is what Special Olympics is about,” said Stanley.

Now Stephens and his fellow athletes can look forward to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan, Russia, in 2022 and announcements of who is on the roster in September.