CORNER BROOK Greg Hall was overwhelmed with emotion when he was presented with his gold medal at the 2012 Special Olympics National Winter Games.
The 40-year-old Corner Brook native was one of 27 Newfoundland and Labrador Special Olympians who helped the province finish in fine style in St. Albert, Alta. with 12 gold, three silver and four bronze.
Hall, a former City of Corner Brook male athlete of the year, won top honours in the 200-m snowshoe race with a final clocking of 42.56 seconds. He was almost 2.5 seconds faster than his nearest competitor Andrew Wiseman of British Columbia, who was among the six Special Olympians competing in the event.
“I have been waiting for this for a long time. I had tears of joy streaming down my face,” Hall said of his golden performance.
Hall shared the limelight with a handful of SOs from western Newfoundland who found their way to the medal podium.
Chris Dugas of Stephenville captured a gold medal in 800-m snowshoe, while fellow Bay St. George Special Olympian Cynthia Matthews has a gold medal dangling from her neck after finishing in top spot in the female 200-m snowshoe race. Daniel Moores of Corner Brook, no stranger to the national scene, claimed a bronze medal in cross-country skiing for Newfoundland and Labrador, while Floressa Harris of Gander, who was competing in the top snowshoeing division, snagged a silver medal in the 400-m event and bronze in the 200-m final showdown.
“I’m really pleased with my silver medal in the 400-m race,” Harris said. “I am the second fastest girl in Canada.”
Jeremy Mueller of St. John’s won three gold medals for the snowshoeing delegation, posting the fastest time in the 100-m, 200-m and 300-m races. Crystal Young of Tri-Con claimed gold in the 400-m snowshoe race, while picking up a silver medal in 800-m and 1,600-m races.
Amanda Butt of Tricon collected gold in the 400-m snowshoe event, while Johnny Philpott of Gander won gold in the 400-m event.
Megan Hounsell of Mount Pearl won gold medal in 100-m cross-country race to round out the medal haul for Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador.
Trish Williams, executive director for Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador, was among the support staff who travelled with the 27 athletes out west. She was quite pleased with how all the athletes performed, both on and off the field of play.
“The athletes were in fine form at the national Games,” Williams said in an email.
“They displayed the passion, determination and skill that only months of practice and training can bring.
“Every athlete returned home feeling good about their performance,” she added. “Attending a national Games allows the athletes to have new experiences, make new friends and grow as an individual.”