Alberta Special Olympics athletes land in Nova Scotia

Welcome committee set up at Halifax Stanfield International Airport Sunday and Monday for the games.

Team Alberta’s powerlifting team, from left to right: Sandy King (coach), Vaughn Lang, Scott Pagenkopf, David Nicholson and Christine Sullivan. Anjuli Patil CBC

Anjuli Patil, CBC News Nova Scotia July 29, 2018

A sea of people wearing yellow T-shirts were greeted with applause after making their way through the arrivals gate at Halifax Stanfield International Airport Sunday afternoon.

They’re part of Team Alberta and they’re going to be competing at the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games in Antigonish, N.S., this week. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Tuesday and the games begin Wednesday.

“What am I looking forward to? Not only am I working hard, training and doing the best I can, but I also want to be here to relax and have fun,” said Vaughn Lang of Alberta’s powerlifting team.

Vaughn is among the more than 900 athletes expected to compete at the games. According to Special Olympics Canada, about 3,000 spectators are expected.

There are nine sports: athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and powerlifting.

Susan King, Alberta’s powerlifting coach, said she’s excited to see her team’s hard work pay off.

“This is a diligent, talented group of athletes. I’ve been most impressed with their ability. When I started coaching Special Olympics — this team is the pinnacle of that. I just look forward to seeing them all pull it out right at contest time,” King said.

Once athletes retrieved their luggage, they hopped on a bus bound for St. Francis Xavier University.

A welcoming committee set up spot near the arrivals gate at the airport. The volunteers are among about 600 that will help out during the games.

The group expected to be at the airport until past midnight Sunday and return Monday morning to greet more athletes.

It’s the second time the games have been held in Nova Scotia. The first time was in 1994.

Terry Richardson, a member of the 2018 Special Olympics Canada national summer games organizing committee, said St.FX is going to be a great host.

“It’s going to be an impressive games… the whole area outside of Antigonish including the county and Antigonish town are taking this and embracing these games which is probably one of the best things we could ever ask for,” said Richardson.

Anjuli Patil
Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia’s digital team.

Source CBC News Nova Scotia

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