Photo: BC Special Olympics Hall of Fame
Kelowna athlete Kelsey Wyse has been inducted into the BC Special Olympics Hall of Fame.
Wyse has excelled in both summer and winter sports and has competed in numerous regional, provincial, national and world Special Olympics since his debut in 2007.
She was inducted on September 17 in a ceremony at the 2022 SOBC Leadership Summit.
“I feel so excited, grateful, surprised and proud,” Wyse said at the Hall of Fame ceremony.
“Special Olympics is important to me because I’ve learned to play so many sports that I never knew how to play. I never knew how to swim, downhill ski, cross-country ski, play bocce or softball before I started Special Olympics. I’ve lived a very healthy life that I learned from being a Special Olympics athlete. I’ve been so lucky to have so many amazing coaches who have helped me become a better athlete and a better person.
Competing in alpine skiing at her first Special Olympics Canada Games in 2008, Wyse qualified to be a member of Team Canada for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho. She has accomplished great things on the slopes. It was his first participation in the World Games, but not the last.
At the same time, Wyse also continued to shine in swimming. After years of hard training, she delivered an unprecedented performance in the pool at the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver and was named to Team Canada for the Special Olympics International Summer Games. of 2015 in Los Angeles, California. There, she reached the podium in several events and posted the fastest overall time of any swimmer at those Games.
In 2018, Wyse decided to move away from alpine skiing and into cross-country skiing. She applied her diligent training and exceptional athleticism to become a successful cross-country ski racer who made it to the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. There she earned a berth in the Special Olympics Winter World Championships in his third sport.
Wyse was named to Canada’s Special Olympics Cross-Country Skiing Team for the Special Olympics International Winter Games scheduled for Kazan, Russia. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these World Games had to be postponed to 2022 and then to 2023. In 2022, after Special Olympics Team Canada members had undergone 563 days of training, the International Games Special Olympics Winter Games in Kazan were canceled due to a political dispute. Although this was very disappointing for everyone on Team Canada, Wyse used all of this training to continue improving his skills and aiming for personal bests.
Wyse is still recognized as a cheerleader for the other members of her team. Her bright smile, positive attitude and work ethic make her a valuable member of any team. She takes her training very seriously, often devoting many more hours to herself to ensure she is at her peak physical condition. She listens to her coaches and works hard to follow their coaching advice to constantly improve her athletic skills.