Island woman to lead Canada's team into Special Olympics World Winter Games
'It's been a personal and professional goal of mine for a number of years'
Islander Charity Sheehan has been chosen Team Canada's chef de mission for the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Sweden.
"It's been a personal and professional goal of mine for a number of years," Sheehan said.
Sheehan is already preparing for the event.
The national team will represent five different sports with up to 150 athletes competing for Canada on the world stage.
"We're in the middle of selecting all the other team members, meeting with management to try and figure out what the vision and the mission of our team is going to be," she said.
The path to Special Olympics P.E.I.
Sheehan first served as chef de mission on the provincial level in 2004 when the Special Olympics Winter Games were hosted on Prince Edward Island.
She's been with Special Olympics P.E.I. for more than 20 years and now works as the organization's executive director.
Every year seems to be bigger and bigger.— Charity Sheehan
Sheehan's career in sports began when she was a student in Holland College's recreation and leisure management program.
The class required a number of volunteer hours and she became involved with various sports on the Island.
'Half my life in the organization'
Volunteering propelled her into a career at Special Olympics Canada, Sheehan said.
"I've spent half my life in the organization, which is kind of incredible."
She said her time at Special Olympics P.E.I. has combined her love for sport development and management and her passion for supporting athletes with an intellectual disability.
Sheehan said she's excited as she takes on her new role at the national level.
"Every year seems to be bigger and bigger," she said. "Our little island is getting a lot of national and international representation."
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With files from Spin Time