Cranbrook’s own multi-sport athlete Erin Thom represented Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Thom came back from the games with a silver medal in golf for individual stroke play. The world games were held in Abu Dhabi from March 14-21.
“They stayed right out on a place called Yas Island, and they golfed at Yas Links,” said Joanne Thom, Erin’s mother and local coordinator of Kimberley/Cranbrook Special Olympics.
She explains the course was on the water, with many rolling hills and very few trees, with sand on every hole.
“[Erin] golfed amazing,” said Joanne. “In the last year, her average has come down close to 10 strokes. There were 17 females competing, and she was second overall, which was my goal. She did very well, she performed well, she behaved well, she mixed well and spoke well. She’s doing really good.”
There were over 7,000 athletes from more than 190 countries who competed in the world games, and more than 20,000 volunteers helped to make the events go smoothly.
Overall, Canada earned 155 medals: 90 gold, 37 silver and 28 bronze at the summer games.
LOOK BACK: Thom bound for Abu Dhabi
Seeing Erin win the silver medal, Joanne said she was proud of her daughter and the accomplishments she has made.
This was the first time Erin has competed at the world games in golf, as she has medaled multiple times at the winter games.
“We followed her for the four days, and we knew she was going to get it right from the way they did the divisions,” said Joanne.
“When you looked at all 17 women golfers and she was second overall … In fact Canada’s golfers, there was eight of them that went, seven of them got medals.”
While the games were the priority down in the United Arab Emirates, Thom and her family had to opportunity to explore.
“Between Abu Dhabi and Dubai the cities themselves are absolutely mind-blowing,” said Joanne.
“The wealth, the construction, the buildings — nobody can describe those two cities justly. It’s just amazing.”
Erin is going to get back to training, now that the warm weather is approaching and she will be back on the links.
“She’s very involved,” said Joanne. “She does all the sports we have, so we keep her very busy.”