Special Olympians shine

Prince County athletes reflect on medal performances at National Summer Games

Jason Simmonds newsroom@journalpioneer.com
Published on July 18, 2014

SUMMERSIDE – The smiles of local Special Olympians said everything.

Eight members of Team P.E.I. from Prince County returned home with medals from last week’s 2014 Special Olympics Canada National Summer Games in Vancouver. The pride and satisfaction of their accomplishments was evident Wednesday night, when the Journal Pioneer arranged for a group photo of the medal winners.

“Dreams do come true,” said Jeremy Wall, who won four medals in athletics – gold in 800 metres and shot put and bronze in the 3,000 metres and the 4x100-metre relay with Team Saskatchewan.

Wall was pleased with his performances, noting he had three personal bests.

“At these Games you never know who is going to show up, so you have to empty the tank in each race,” he said.

Wall has won his last four 800-metre races, and set a personal best – 2:53 – in the fourth one, but his highlight was the 3,000 metres.

“It (bronze medal) means so much to me because of the all the hard work I put into it,” added Wall, 29.

This was the first time Wall competed in a National Summer Games after representing P.E.I. in floor hockey at two National Winter Games. His next goal is to make Team P.E.I.’s floor hockey team for the 2016 National Winter Games, and get back to the 2018 Summer Games.

Wall said Olympic gold-medallist bobsledder Heather Moyse of Summerside and runner Kelly MacDonald of Montague inspire him to work hard and never give up.

“Heather Moyse always talks about believing in your dreams,” said Wall, who lives in Summerside, but stressed he is from Kensington. “I’m a Ktown boy!”


Smith wins gold

Jenna Smith of Tyne Valley won two gold medals and a silver in tenpin bowling.

“It was very emotional actually,” said the 24-year-old Smith. “I never won a gold medal before.”

Smith finds bowling “relieves a lot of stress,” and she enjoys “meeting new people” through competition.

Smith is hoping her strong performance will be enough to earn a spot on Team Canada for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.


Barlow debuts

Caitlyn Barlow of Kensington returned home from her first-ever National Games with a silver medal in fivepin bowling.

“It was amazing,” recalled Barlow, 16. “If they ever have another Games like this, I am up for going. I enjoyed myself this past week.”

Barlow, who said it was an honour to wear “the colours of my province every day,” has bowled for four years.

“For the future I’d love to get a gold medal and work harder at my bowling,” said Barlow, who went on to say the best part of Special Olympics is meeting new people.

When asked what her favourite aspect of the National Games was, Barlow commented: I had no best part. I loved it all.”


Arsenault plays softball

Pitcher Glendon Arsenault of Travellers Rest was the lone Prince County player on the bronze-medal-winning P.E.I. softball team.

“The team played well,” commented Arsenault, 44.

Arsenault has been involved with Special Olympics programs for 20 years, and is in his 10th year playing softball. He has previously won medals at National Games in track and field and field hockey.

“I’m going to keep playing softball,” said Arsenault. “I like playing and meeting different teams from different provinces.”

Arsenault said the highlight was playing one game under the lights.

“It’s different (playing at night),” he said.


Doucette pumps iron

Kolton Doucette of Mont-Carmel returned home with four gold medals, sweeping the squat, bench press, deadlift and overall titles in his division.

Like Smith, Doucette is also hoping to receive positive news regarding next year’s World Summer Games.

Doucette said he lifted more than expected in Vancouver. His heaviest lifts were 165 pounds in squat and bench press.

“I wanted to beat my score here (P.E.I.),” said Doucette. “It really boosts your confidence quite a bit.”

Doucette praised his coaches, Matt Pauptit and Chris Ellis, with the Bulldog Powerlifting Club at the Summerside Boys and Girls Club.

“They are pretty awesome,” offered Doucette, 24.


Mallett tackles links

Heidi Mallett of Alberton won bronze in golf.

“It feels very good,” said Mallett, 39. “It gives me confidence to go farther.”

Mallett has golfed for six years.

“I find it relaxes you,” continued Mallett. “Because I’m visually impaired and hearing impaired, it gives me something to do.”

But that doesn’t stop Mallett.

“I need someone to help direct me to the ball, and it helps my confidence,” she added.

This was Mallett’s first National Summer Games. She previously won silver in the 100- and 200-metre snowshoeing events at the 2010 National Winter Games in Edmonton.

“I very much enjoyed it,” said Mallett. “It was a very exciting week.”

Other highlights for Mallett were the opening ceremonies and meeting her peers.


Paynter collects bronze

John Paynter of Freetown collected bronze medals in the 200 metres, 100 metres and standing long jump. He also finished fifth in shot put.

“I am pleased with all the results,” said Paynter, 41. “It was pretty warm out there.”

Paynter, a newcomer to athletics, attended his first National Summer Games. He previously competed in curling at the National Winter Games.

Paynter curls on a five-member team with Paul Phillips, Chris Arsenault, Joey Blacquiere and Mark Ramsay.

Paynter says his future in athletics is undecided, adding he may like to try bowling.

“It may be nice to try something different like Paul did,” said Paynter referring to his curling skip, who competes in tenpin bowling.


Unable to attend

Two Team P.E.I. medal winners from Prince County – Kevin Ramsay of Tyne Valley and Roy Paynter of Kensington – were unable to attend on Wednesday.

Ramsay won gold medals in singles and doubles in ten pin bowling while Paynter earned gold in the 4x50-metre medley relay with Team New Brunswick, silver in the 4x50-metre free relay with Team New Brunswick and silver in the 100-metre breaststroke.





Team P.E.I. brings

home 38 medals


CHARLOTTETOWN – Team P.E.I. enjoyed a very successful 2014 Special Olympics National Summer Games in Vancouver, B.C., last week.

Overall, P.E.I. competed in seven different sports and won a total of 38 medals – 12 gold, nine silver and 17 bronze.

That is 18 more medals than Team P.E.I. won at the last National Summer Games in 2010. That year in London, Ont., P.E.I. won six gold, seven silver and seven bronze.

In Vancouver, swimmer Amie Sullivan of Montague and powerlifter Kolton Doucette of Mont-Carmel led the P.E.I. medal haul. Sullivan won a team-high five medals – one gold, one silver and three bronze – while Doucette collected four gold.





Medal winners


P.E.I. medals at 2014 Special Olympics

Canada National Summer Games:



Jeremy Wall, Kensington

Gold in shot put

Gold in 800 metres

Bronze in 3,000 metres

4x100-metre relay (with Sask.)


Jamie Trowsdale, Charlottetown

Bronze in 1,500 metres


John Paynter, Freetown

Bronze in 200 metres

Bronze in 100 metres

Bronze in standing long jump


Terri Cudmore, Charlottetown

Silver in 100 metres

Bronze in 200 metres

Bronze in standing long jump



Roy Paynter, Kensington

Gold in 4x50-metre relay (with N.B.)

Silver in 4x50-metre free relay (with N.B.)

Silver in 100-metre breaststroke


Sarah Halman, Charlottetown

Silver in 25-metre fly

Silver in 25-metre backstroke

Bronze in 50-metre freestyle


Amie Sullivan, Montague

Gold in 100-metre breaststroke

Silver in 50-metre backstroke

Bronze in 50-metre breaststroke

Bronze in 200-metre breaststroke

Bronze in 4x25-metre relay (with N.B.)


Ellen MacNearney, Montague

Silver in 25-metre fly

Bronze in 25-metre free relay (with N.B.)


Tenpin Bowling

Jenna Smith, Tyne Valley

Gold in singles

Gold in doubles

Silver overall


Kevin Ramsay, Tyne Valley

Gold in singles

Gold in doubles


Fivepin Bowling


Caitlyn Barlow, Kensington



Bobbi Jean MacEachern, Charlottetown




Heidi Mallett, Alberton




Kolton Doucette, Mont-Carmel

Gold in bench press

Gold in squat

Gold in deadlift

Gold in overall



Bronze medal

Players – Billy Acorn, Brackley; Jerred Affleck, York; Glendon Arsenault, Travellers Rest; Lisa Bernard, Charlottetown; Cedric Gallant, Charlottetown; John Anthony Laybolt, Charlottetown; Tommy MacGuigan, Charlottetown; Wallace MacMaster, Charlottetown; Chris MacPherson, Charlottetown; Derek McDonald, Bonshaw; Brian McNab, Charlottetown; Shawn Mitchell, Charlottetown; Aaron Myers, Charlottetown; Greg St. John, Charlottetown.

Coaches – Richard Douillette, Charlottetown; Judy Gallant, Charlottetown; Allan Stewart, Hunter River.



Bronze medal

Players – Scott Brousseau, Montague; Rhonda Fall, Georgetown; James Larter, Georgetown; Jason MacCormack, Belfast; Sarah MacDonald, Little Pond; Shelby McInnis, Souris; Alan Murray, Souris; John Rafuse, Montague; Callie Wood, Montague; Alyssa Chapman, Murray Harbour.

Coaches – Terry Nabuurs, Cardigan; Kyle McGuirk, Vernon River; Lori Byers, Montague.