We are pleased to announce that two Special Olympics Ontario athletes and one coach will be representing Ontario at the 2023 Canada Winter Games. Ana Micanovic of Ajax and Karl Dietrich of Windsor will be competing in figure skating with Cathy Skinner of Ottawa as their coach.
Ana – who has been involved in Special Olympics for 8 years – and Karl – who has been involved for 7 years – have been training hard and are looking forward to competing on the National stage. Ana says that she loves being able to “make new friends with other athletes” and appreciates the “opportunity to meet young people from all over Canada”. Karl echoes this sentiment, as he loves having the chance “to do sports with my friends, work out and stay healthy.”
Outside of figure skating, Ana participates in 5-pin bowling, bocce and floor hockey, while Karl plays basketball, softball, golf and 10-pin bowling. Looking back on their past experiences, both athletes recall their memories of the 2019 Provincial Games, where Karl had the chance to carry a flag in the parade while Ana is very proud of the silver medal she won!
Coach Cathy Skinner is proud to be able to support these athletes – “I love to help them become the best they can be, and rise to the challenges and be successful in life in ways they never thought possible.” Skinner has been a coach with Special Olympics for 14 years, and recalls the 2013 World Winter Games in Korea as a highlight – “representing our country on the world stage with so many great Canadian athletes was amazing!”
Ana, Karl and Cathy are all eagerly looking forward to the Games, and thank all of the supporters and donors who help to make events like these and Special Olympics programs happen across the province on an almost daily basis. “Your support means more than you could know to these athletes, their families and their coaches,” says Cathy. Karl says that participating in all these sports “is the best part of my life,” while Ana agrees – “it means so much to all of us.”
The Canada Winter Games are taking place from February 18th to March 5th, 2023 in Prince Edward Island. Ana and Karl will be among the 3,600 participants competing in the Games. We wish the best of luck to Ana and Karl, and know that everyone involved in Special Olympics Ontario will be rooting for them in 2023!
To learn more about the Canada Winter Games, please visit https://www.2023canadagames.ca/.