By: Korie Marshall
Danny Dodgson played a lot of softball when he was growing up in Valemount, but now he’s turned to snowshoeing – and won gold in three events at Sun Peaks last month.
Dodgson, who now lives in Quesnel, is part of the Prince George Regional Team for the Special Olympics BC Winter Games. They competed in alpine skiing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing at Sun Peaks Resort on Feb. 20-21. The event brought over 120 athletes with intellectual disabilities from across the province, hoping to qualify for the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Cornerbrooke, Newfoundland next winter.
“I was first in all three of my races,” Dodgson said over the phone in a humble tone. He raced in the 100-and the 200-metre snowshoe races, as well as a relay on snowshoes with three people from his team.
“I just have to wait now and hopefully be picked to go to Newfoundland,” he says. “It was a good experience.”
Megan Grittani-Livingston, spokesperson for Special Olympics BC says the selection process for Team BC is ongoing, and the team won’t be announced for a few months, but results from these games help determine who advances.
Dodgson says he really enjoys snowshoeing, and he’s been training and competing for three or four years now. He practices every Tuesday at the Quesnel Junior Secondary School, and works at Walmart when he’s not training.
“I want to thank my coaches and my family for all the support and for coming down to support me at the races.” He says 12 members of his family all came to watch, including his mom Shannon Dodgson and his cousin Susan Mackenzie.
Dodgson says he felt so happy when he won his races, and very happy especially to see his mom there. Shannon says they family got to have lunch with him, and were very proud to see him win. She says Danny hopes to come to Valemount this summer for a visit.