Gosselin returns with three medals

A few weeks before she was to board a plane for Nagano, Japan, Joyce Gosselin spoke these words:
“I want the gold really bad. That’s what I’m hoping for,” she had said. “I want to come back with something, and not just a ribbon.”
She made good on her aspirations for the 2005 Special Olympics Winter Games by claiming a gold medal in the 100m showshoeing event last week.
“I told everyone that I was coming back with a gold and I did,” said Gosselin, who started to get emotional when asked what she thought about the attention she has received from friends and well-wishers.
“It’s really been overwhelming,” she remarked.
Gosselin won the gold in a time of 1:07.55, which was slightly slower than her qualifying time of 1:07.39.
She had entered the event with only a remote chance of winning the gold as Marlene Rechberger, 18, of Austria went into the final with a qualifying time of 26.05.
And though she completed the final with a time of 37.52, she subsequently was disqualified, which gave Gosselin the gold.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” said Gosselin. “I knew I got the silver medal because when she crossed the finish line I was at the halfway point, but they explained it after to me that she had disqualified.”
Coming in third, but claiming the silver medal due to Rechberger’s DQ, was another Canadian, Sara Jane Daigle, 27, who crossed the finish line in a time of 1:23.95.
But it didn’t begin or end there for Gosselin, who already had claimed a silver medal in the 200m race earlier in the week with a time of 2:36.45—more than four seconds better than her qualifying time of 2:40.89.
Taking first place was Laura Ferraro, 41, of Italy with a blistering time of 2:09.45 while Daigle snagged the bronze medal with a time of 3:19.75.
Gosselin then captured another silver medal last Friday while running the third leg in the 4x100m relay—the first time she’s ever been on a relay team.
Dubbed “Canada Leafs,” the team finished the relay with a time of 4:32.74—well behind the American team that won in a time of 2:30.95.
What’s even more impressive about Gosselin’s performance is that at 58, she was the oldest snowshoe competitor at the Games, which attracted 2,500 Special Olympians from 80 countries showcasing their abilities in seven Olympic-type sports.
“I’m okay with that. I’m going to prove that I can do it,” Gosselin, named Citizen of the Year in Fort Frances last fall, had said before she left for Nagano.
“I’m the oldest, so I want to show the younger ones that old people can do this, too,” she added.
They competed at the same venues used for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
“This is a trip of a lifetime. I dreamed of it, and always thought of it, but I never knew I could make it, but I hoped and I prayed,” Gosselin had said.
That dream now has become a reality—and she’s got the medals to prove it.