A Winnipeg grandfather says he’s so inspired by his grandson’s achievements as a Special Olympian, that he’s taking on an athletic challenge himself — a virtual walk across Canada.
Brett Griffiths is a curler and a Special Olympics spokesperson. His dedication to the organization and his sport are fuelling proud grandpa, Tom Creighton, his ambitious trek and fundraising goals.
“Rumour has it I turn 80 this year and to celebrate my birthday, I’m doing a virtual walk across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax in an attempt to raise $100,000 for Special Olympics (Manitoba),” Creighton told 680 CJOB.
“The walk started about 5 a.m. on Jan. 1, and I checked this morning. I’m about halfway between Vancouver and the Alberta border.
“Brett’s a spokesperson for Special Olympics Manitoba, and I think he’s a shining example of the benefits for the kinds of programs they provide for people, so I’m very impressed by what Brett’s been able to accomplish.”
For his part, Griffiths said he’s equally inspired by his grandfather’s efforts.
“It’s pretty amazing, especially since he’s turning 80. It’s very impressive,” he said.
“I just love that my family is supporting me and all my friends at Special Olympics, and helping raise money for Special Olympics so we can continue to do what we love.
“If my 80 year old grandpa can do it, so can I.”
Creighton said he was a runner for over three decades, but arthritis in both feet meant he had to make the switch to long-distance walking, something he said gives him the same sense of accomplishment.
“I did that kind of distance last year, so barring a health concern, it shouldn’t be a problem doing it this year.
“I walk six days a week, 9-10 miles a day, so it takes a level of commitment to do it … but with the motivation of now being able to raise funds for Special Olympics, that helps me get out of bed even earlier in the morning.”
Creighton’s ongoing journey can be followed on this website: papaswalk.ca.