VANCOUVER – Kolton Doucette capped a big opening day of competition for Team P.E.I. at the 2014 Special Olympics National Summer Games.
As of press time Wednesday night, P.E.I. had won five medals – four gold by Doucette in powerlifting and one bronze by Jamie Trowsdale in athletics.
“We are really super excited,” beamed Team P.E.I. chef de mission Charity Sheehan in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer on Wednesday night.
Doucette, who is from Wellington, was the top lifter in all three disciplines – bench press, squat and deadlift – and also received a gold medal for being the top overall lifter in his age category.
Doucette lifted a personal-best of 72 kilos in the bench press, 70.5 kilos in the squat and he had a deadlift of 90 kilos. Overall, he lifted 235.2 kilos.
“Kolton was very excited to say the least,” said Sheehan. “He hasn’t stopped grinning since. He’s a very quiet guy, but that smile speaks volumes.”
Trowsdale, who calls Charlottetown home, got the day off to a strong start for the Island contingent in the 1,500-metre race. This is the first time Team P.E.I. track athletes ran distances greater than 400 metres.
“The athletes were all pumped, Jamie included, about doing longer-distance races,” added Sheehan. “He really had a goal set that he was going to finish it in a personal-best time.
“I’m not sure if he was off his personal best, I haven’t seen the results yet, but he was pretty excited about what he did today.”
In softball, Team P.E.I. won its first game – 16-10 over New Brunswick. The Islanders were back on the field playing Ontario in a late game Wednesday night, but no score was available at press time.
“They’re playing on a turf field, so they are having to adjust to the speed of the ball getting to them in the field,” explained Sheehan.
P.E.I.’s lone golfer, Heidi Mallett of Alberton, was on the course completing her opening round on Wednesday night.
The swimmers had a busy day along with the track and field athletes while the Team P.E.I. soccer team dropped two games – 4-2 to Ontario and 6-2 to Manitoba.
“Like the softball team, they are playing on turf and are adjusting to the speed,” said Sheehan. “Also, it was tremendously hot here today, so all the athletes had to deal with that as well.”
Competition continues Thursday.