Placentia celebrates after Peter Hynes wins bronze at Special Olympics World Games
15-year-old welcomed home from Dubai with parade in hometown
Peter Hynes received a hero's welcome in his hometown of Placentia on Sunday, fresh off a bronze medal win at the Special Olympics World Games in the United Arab Emirates.
The 15-year-old athlete for Team Canada landed in Newfoundland and Labrador early Sunday morning after a whirlwind month spent in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
On March 16, he won a bronze medal in his division in the mini javelin event, and later placed fifth in the 100-metre run.
For Hynes, the trip to the U.A.E. was a chance to show the world his talents.
"That made me feel great," he said on Sunday. "I feel proud of myself."
He got to the U.A.E. a full week before his parents Jane and Rod Hynes arrived, getting to bond with his teammates and explore his new surroundings.
"It was just a great learning experience," said Rod Hynes. "There's so much to see, so much to take in and process."
Rod is one of Peter's coaches in Placentia, but passed the torch to the Team Canada volunteers for the Games, and cheered him on from the sidelines this time around.
"That was the highlight. To actually see Pete out on the track getting prepared in his warmups, and being led by some new coaching within the team, who I'd never met before," he said.
Peter qualified for Team Canada after winning medals in both the provincial and national Special Olympics.
He started competing three years ago when a chapter of the Special Olympics was created in Placentia.
"You should check us out. There's actually quite a diverse group of people involved from the young ages of 14," said Rod Hynes, "right up to … 65 years old."
On Sunday, the town was planning to welcome him back with a motorcade celebrating his arrival and a meet and greet at the town's arts centre.
Later this week, he'll head back to school, but he's already got his sights set on the future.
"I'm gonna keep training and stay healthy," he said.