Once they got over the butterflies, there was no stopping Vernon’s Special Olympics bowlers.
The quintet of Erin Murphy, Katelyn Oliver, Cheryl Bird, Jamie Potter and Steven Linemayr – coached by Lake Country’s Kathy Cameron, assistant coach Krissy Krnasty of Vernon and Krnasty’s nephew, Jaden Graham as the team’s lucky mascot – won gold in their division at the Special Olympics B.C. Games in Kamloops.
Vernon took top spot in the Blue Division of five-pin bowling with a team total of 3,904 pins.
Bird won two individual gold medals, for rolling the women’s highest total scratch score of 880, along with the women’s high scratch single-game score of 192.
Linemayr added individual gold for rolling the men’s high scratch game, rolling a personal best score of 199.
“We are so proud of this team,” said Krnasty prior to a regular Saturday afternoon Vernon Special Olympics bowling session at Lincoln Lanes. “For a lot of the athletes, it was their first time at the Games, so there were plenty of nerves. But our players stepped up their games, they were focused and dedicated, and when they won the gold, you could see how proud they were.”
The North Okanagan was well represented throughout the various competitions in Kamloops.
Danielle Pechet of Vernon returned with three medals from snowshoeing – one gold and two silver – while teammate Mary Adamson added a pair of bronze medals. Janny Jung of Coldstream was an assistant coach with the Okanagan team.
In cross-country skiing, Special Olympics veteran Justin Sigal added a gold and a bronze to his Games collection of medals. He also had a fifth-place finish in one race. Teammate Dominique Borgeaud added a bronze medal, and had a fourth- and fifth-place result. Leslie Sigal was the zone cross-country skiing head coach, assisted by Carol King and Heidi Borgeaud of Vernon.
Grindrod’s Adam Songer helped a Kamloops team win bronze in their division in curling. Steven Schwebbach of Vernon played for the South Okanagan Rockstars, who finished out of the medals.
Laura Murphy of Vernon was an assistant coach in curling.