An Elk Valley local brought home Olympic gold last month after dominating in her 5-pin bowling category at the Vancouver Special Olympics.
Kathy Sheppard,32, was the first athlete from the Elk Valley’s Special Olympics BC Society to compete in nationals in over 17 years, Community Coordinator Georgina McIntosh said.
And she was the first to win.
“It was just so exciting,” she said.
“I’m sure she could have heard me (yelling) from Vancouver. I wish actually I could have got down there fast enough to see.”
In just four days, Sheppard bowled a total of nine games at the Special Olympics British Columbia (SOBC) Summer Games.
“It was tiring after a while,” she said.
“It was quite different.”
But Sheppard didn’t let the exhaustion get to her, as her and her team mates, coined the Port Alberni Alley Brats, won gold metals.
“We were so excited,” she said.
“My team was so excited.”
Sheppard was picked from a small group of individuals based on her high provincial bowling scores.
This year she bowled a 203 while practicing for the nationals, a score that earned Janet Laing the Highest Pins Over Average title in the 2013 SOBC Summer Games.
And McIntosh said Sheppard will have to continue training just as hard if she makes it to Worlds next year.
“The next few months is going to be a lot of practice,” McIntosh said.
Sheppard may be selected to compete in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
The selection process is based on a combination of her teams overall average and Sheppard’s’ individual scores, but McIntosh said she will likely not know Sheppard’s standing until February next year.
If selected, Sheppard will be one of 7,000 athletes from 177 nations around the world to compete in the games.
The World Games run from July 25- August 2, 2015.