ANTIGONISH, N.S. - Eyes were fixed on the bocce field – interrupted, only occasionally, by the waving of flags from their home province.
Lola Gushue and Joan Butt spent Wednesday morning at the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games in Antigonish, where they watched their sister, Mary Head compete for Team Newfoundland and Labrador in bocce.
“We are so proud of her,” Butt said.
Head, who has been involved with Special Olympics for more than 12 years, also participates in bowling and curling.
“It is a lot of fun,” Head said, after completing her throws, while noting she also balances work with her athletic pursuits.
The Gander native added she loves sports and socializing.
“I love meeting people,” she noted.
Her sisters agreed.
“She has so much more confidence,” Gushue said, when asked about how Head has benefitted from participating in Special Olympics.
‘I really love it’
At the neighbouring track on the St. F.X. campus, Robert Moore – another member of Team Newfoundland and Labrador – offered a wide smile and warm ‘hello,’ as he waited to register for one of his races.
“I really love it,” the 32-year-old, who lives outside St. John’s, said when asked about Special Olympics.
Moore will compete in the 200, 400 and 800m disciplines while in Nova Scotia.
“It is going to be a lot of fun,” he said.
Moore, who has been a Special Olympics’ athlete for more than five years, is competing in his second Games. He also represented his province, on home soil, in snowshoeing, at the 2016 winter nationals in Cornerbrook.
“I like working with my teammates and trying my best,” he said.
Moore also swims with Special Olympics.
The 2018 Summer Games continue until Aug. 4.