Months of training and practice have all led to this moment for Morden’s Colleen Voth... getting on a plane this weekend to begin her journey to Berlin, Germany and the 2023 Special Olympics World Games. Taking place June 17th to 25th, the event will bring together 7,000 athletes from about 170 countries, including 89 from Team Canada. Voth now calls Morden home, but is originally from Altona.
Voth is part of the Special Olympics Team Canada 10-pin bowling team, a sport she has participated in locally for many years. She's part of the Valley Rollers Special Olympics Manitoba 10-pin bowling club which practices weekly from October through mid-April at VB’s Entertainment Centre in Winkler.
“I’ve been practicing a lot,” said Voth when asked what she’s been doing to prepare.
“If the pin is on the left-side, I go on the right side. If the pin is on the right-side, I go on the left side,” shared Voth when reflecting on what has been the most difficult thing to practice, that being picking up corner pin spares and splits.
Since her weekly bowling club ended in April, she’s been receiving one-on-one practices with her local training coach, and Valley Rollers Co-Head Coach, Chris Sumner.
“Colleen is a wonderful example of all the things that make Special Olympics great,” said Sumner. “After being selected for Team Canada, she knew she had a big challenge ahead of her, because the training was a lot more than just extra bowling practice. It included meal planning, additional exercising and training camps in Toronto and Vancouver, and she took all of that on in a super positive way. With the Berlin games always looming on the horizon, since last Fall when she found out she was selected, she has given her all to be the best she can be.”
There are a total of 138 Team Canada members going to Germany.
“Exciting,” said Voth when asked how it felt to be part of Team Canada. “And I hope I come home with gold.”
Team Canada has athletes competing in athletics, men’s and women’s basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer and swimming.