Go, Joyce!

Dear sir:
Our sincere congratulations goes out to local Special Olympian Joyce Gosselin on her achievement of making “Team Canada” for the 2005 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
This was no surprise to me as, attending the Regional Winter Games in Kenora a few years back, I watched Joyce make a trial run in snowshoeing for the first time.
What I saw was an athlete completely exhausted on a run that really did not mean anything, except for bringing the sport of snowshoeing to the Fort Frances club. And now Joyce has had success in mastering it.
As her former coach, I watched her practice as hard as she possibly could, competing against herself to better her time on a 100m and 200m run. I told her to slow down and take it easy, but this went in one ear and out the other as she kept up her 125 percent effort every time she made a practice run.
Joyce, without a doubt, was the inspiring factor to the other Special Olympics athletes, which made each and every one perform at their highest level. She truly was dedicated in winning every time she competed, whether it was snowshoeing, curling, floor hockey, softball, or bowling.
Not only did she strive for gold in sports, Joyce also was a consistent gold-medal winner when it came to canvassing for the OPP Torch Run, Terry Fox Run, and other charities—coming out on top every time by getting the most pledges.
For this, she deserved a trip to anywhere in the world for her devoted efforts. But knowing Joyce for more than six years in the Ontario Special Olympics, she had to earn her way—and that was being a winner in every aspect of any challenge she confronted.
She truly practised the Special Olympic oath: “Let me win. But If I cannot win, let me be brave at the attempt.”
We wish Joyce well at the 2005 Winter Games in Nagano, where I am sure she will do her very best. You can bank on that.
Michael J. Baranowski
Nestor Falls, Ont.