Special Olympian Joanne Bunnin returns with gold

Chilliwack athlete Joanne Bunnin returns from the Special Olympic games with 3 gold medals in powerlifting.

Chilliwack athlete Joanne Bunnin is congratulated by Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz Tuesday

Chilliwack athlete Joanne Bunnin is congratulated by Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz Tuesday

Local athlete Joanne Bunnin arrived home from the Special Olympic Games in Los Angeles with 3 gold medals in powerlifting. She was welcomed back in celebration by friends, family, fellow athletes, and community members at Staples on August 4.

When Bunnin arrived to the cheering Staples crowd, she was thrilled, “I don’t believe this – this is so awesome!” she called out. As dozens of people filtered in, Bunnin made sure to thank and hug everyone who came to celebrate her success.

While the competition was fierce throughout the two-week Special Olympics World Summer Games (July 25 – August 2), Team Canada’s 114 athletes put up a great fight.

Canada brought home 144 medals, consisting of 70 gold, 48 silver and 26 bronze.

Team Canada “shattered expectations, set a new standard for National Team excellence and represented our country with great class,” noted Johnny Byrne, Team Canada Chef de Mission, in a press release.

Joanne BunninBunnin took home three gold medals of her own in powerlifting for: Female Bench Press (score of 52.50 kg), Female Dead Lift (score of 120.00 kg), and Female Combination Bench and Dead Lift (score of 172.50).

“I wish you could have seen me lift,” Bunnin said to the smiling crowd.

Her years of training in the Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre have certainly paid off, with an outstanding performance in L.A.

“We’re thrilled that you’ve represented not only B.C. and Chilliwack, but Canada, in the World Games,” said Wayne Williams, Chilliwack Equipment Coordinator and coach at Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC), as Bunnin was presented with flowers and a congratulatory plaque.

Bunnin, who has been participating in Special Olympics for over 10 years, was “overwhelmed” by the warm wishes and congratulations that she received from all who attended.

But her applause is well-deserved, said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “Everyone who wants to get anywhere in life knows that it doesn’t come easy; it’s hard work,” said Gaetz.  “Congratulations on your determination. You’ve made our city so proud.”

Bunnin has been supported as an athlete by her enthusiastic family, her local coaches (Bill Stewart, Jason Bertrand, Lynn Martinow, Michelle Riley, and Jo Newell), as well as the National Team coaches, “without their direction and training, as well as Joanne’s dedication, this would not be possible,” said Williams.

Staples Canada, in partnership with Special Olympics Canada, has raised more than $680,000 for SOBC athletes like Bunnin with their annual ‘Give A Toonie. Share a Dream.’ campaign.

For a complete list of Team Canada results, visit http://teamcanada.specialolympics.ca/results/.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Salvation Army is open for applications for their Christmas hamper program on Nov. 30, and applications are due by Dec. 12. (Chilliwack Progress file photo)
Christmas hamper application process starts in Chilliwack

Hampers available for individuals and families who apply before Dec. 12

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
Abbotsford care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Trustees Darrell Furgason (right) and Barry Neufeld at a January 2019 board meeting. (Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack trustee responds to teachers’ call for censure

Furgason: ‘Unions exist to make demands from an employer for their members’

Morning mist clears over the Hope Slough at Camp River Road on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Sunny skies in the forecast for Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Rain and wind expected Sunday night through Monday morning, then clear skies

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read