The Newfoundland and Labrador contingent of Special Olympics Team Canada left Wednesday for PyeongChang, South Korea, to take part in the 2013 Special Olympics World Games.
Special Olympics NL athlete Jeremy Mueller, and team doctors Carmel Casey and Neil Cheeseman, are part of a 141-person team competing at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5.
A news release notes the eight-day competition will bring together nearly 3,300 athletes from as many as 112 countries to the mountain resort with world-class competition venues.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than this within the Special Olympics community, and the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games are an incredible opportunity for our Canadian athletes,” said Trish Williams, executive director Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador.
“These world games are also important because they bring attention to the talents and capabilities of people with an intellectual disability, helping to change attitudes and to break down barriers that can exclude them from full participation in their communities.”
Athletes on the national team are a mix of veterans and others who will compete at the international level for the very first time. Each has moved through successive levels of competition to qualify — first provincials and then nationals. Final qualification for the 2013 national team was based on performance at the 2012 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, held last February in St. Albert and Jasper, Alberta.