Cranbrook’s multi-time Special Olympics medalist Erin Thom named Sam Steele Parade Marshal


Celebrating the spirit of Cranbrook, the Sam Steele Society is excited to announce that multi-time Special Olympics Gold Medalist and local legend Erin Thom will lead the 2019 Sam Steele Days Grand Parade as this year’s Parade Marshal.

Born and raised in Cranbrook, Thom has been competing in Special Olympics, representing her country and community, for 27 years. She has attended five National Winter Games, five World Winter Games, one National Summer Games and one World Summer Games. She has captured nine Gold, 10 Silver and three Bronze medals – mostly in skiing. Thom also participates in swimming, basketball, softball, five-pin bowling, curling and golfing.

In 2013, Thom was honoured with an Athletic Achievement Award from Special Olympics British Columbia (SOBC).

Over the years, Thom has been a familiar face at many community events. In 2010, she was the final torch bearer and cauldron lighter when the Olympic Cauldron stopped in Cranbrook. She has taken part in two Rick Hanson Torch Runs, including a celebration of the 25th Anniversary Rick Hanson Man in Motion. And she’s no stranger to Sam Steele Days, joining Canadian Olympic rower Ben Rutledge when he was Parade Marshal.

Always seeking new challenges, Thom has joined the SOBC Athlete Leadership Program, along with Ben Stein, to raise awareness of Special Olympics and the opportunities available to people with intellectual disabilities. They present to various groups in Cranbrook.

Sam Steele Days Society Chair Carrie Schafer said Thom was the perfect choice for marshal considering this year’s theme centres around people who have made a difference in Cranbrook.

“Erin is an amazing athlete and a true inspiration to our community,” said Schafer. “As we salute the people, the history and the future of Cranbrook I am proud Erin will be the 2019 Parade Marshal.”

The Grande Parade, sponsored by St. Eugene Resort & Casino, is on Saturday, June 15, and it starts at 10:30 a.m.

For more information, see


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