– Contributed by Justine Chubb

Canada finishes with 16 medals at Sochi Paralympics

The world’s top para-athletes waved goodbye at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games on Sunday in Russia.

The ceremony, “Reaching the Impossible”, celebrated the powerful inclusive spirit of the Paralympic Games.  It featured a slew of amazing performances, including appearances from the Russian Wheelchair Dance Sport Federation, a group of trapeze artists and much more!  The highlight of the ceremony was when Aleksey Chuvashev, a wheelchair athlete missing both legs, climbed a 15-metre rope using just his arms, and added an apostrophe to “Impossible” to make it “I’m possible.”

The athletes themselves then joined the proceedings, marching with their respective flags around the stadium. Members of Team Canada took part in the closing ceremony, with Josh Dueck, the sit-skier and two-time Sochi medalist, carrying the flag for Canada.

Team Canada had a remarkable run finishing third overall with a total of 16 medals – seven gold, two silver and seven bronze.

Congratulations to all athletes for competing in this year’s games!  We look forward to the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro!


Special Olympics Canada Summer Games

Still have Olympics fever?  In just a few short months, Vancouver will be host to the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games!  From July 8-12, 2014, the Games will feature 11 sports, making it the largest Canadian Games ever.

It’s anticipated that over 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials will take part, in addition to over 1,000 event volunteers!


Countdown to World Down Syndrome Day!

world-down-syndrome-day-logoWe’re just two days away from the 9th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day on Friday, March 21!  WDSD is celebrated in over 60 countries worldwide where communities and organizations join together to promote awareness and understanding.

Take part in some of the upcoming events throughout the Lower Mainland that showcase the abilities and accomplishments of those with Down syndrome.

The Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society is hosting their celebratory event this weekend in Surrey on Saturday, March 22. They will be selling and serving hot dogs and smokies fresh off the barbecue, doing face painting and handing out balloons!

The Down Syndrome Research Foundation is hosting their fun-filled family event, Run Up for Down Syndrome this summer in Burnaby on Sunday, June 1.

Last but certainly not least, you can build awareness by connecting online!  Check out some of the inspiring stories, photos and videos from individuals with Down Syndrome, parents, employers and supporters!  Head online using the hashtag #WDSD2014.