Cranbrook Special Olympian Erin Thom has been honoured with the 2012-13 Athletic Achievement Award, for her sporting accomplishments this season.
Thom, who was surprised with the award during registration day for the 2013-14 season at the SOBC office in Cranbrook, was surrounded by all her coaches who have helped her get on her way since getting involved with Special Olympics over 22 years ago.
Thom was busy this past season, namely with capturing a pair of medals and earning a fourth place finish at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in alpine skiing, hosted by Korea.
In addition to the Winter Games, she also was selected to participate in the inaugural National Golf Tournament in Ontario, and hit the diamonds in Langley to compete in the Special Olympics B.C. Summer Games.
Thom has had quite the career as an SOBC athlete.
She captured her first World Games gold medal in 1997—one of her most memorable experiences, and has medaled for alpine skiing in every single one of the four World Winter Games and National Winter Games she’s competed in.
However, it was soccer that first got her into Special Olympics, but she went on to compete in skiing, five-pin bowling, softball, swimming, golf and power lifting.
Thom put in a lot of hard work for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, and was rewarded with the results she achieved on the podium. Being a 22-year veteran of Special Olympics, she also took on a leadership role, leading her teammates in listening to coaches and diplomatically settling any issues with team leaders.
At the National Golf Tournament in 2012, Thom earned a bronze medal in her division and stood out for her driving ability off the tee box.
“Erin can really crush a ball off the tee,” reported SOBC’s Shawn Fevens. “She probably outdrove half the guys.”
Thom collected another bronze medal with her Cranbrook/Kimberley softball team at the Special Olympic B.C. Summer Games.
Well-known for her accomplishments in the community, Thom was selected as Cranbrook’s representative to run the torch into Western Financial Place to light the cauldron during the 2010 BC Winter Games.
She lives independently with a roommate and is known for volunteering at every single local Special Olympics event.
Thom would like to thank all of the following coaches for mentoring her on her Special Olympics: Harry Grombach (soccer), Mick McLellan (skiing), Joan MacKinnon (swimming), Steve Norton (skiing), Emily Mittermayr (bowling), Laurie Dickson (powerlifting), Penny Coyle (swimming), Christine & Craig Larson (softball), Dave Fiorentino (softball), John Scott (golf), Bob McLeish (skiing), Joanne Carlisle (deceased – bowling)