Kathleen and David Manearney
Kathleen and David Macnearney radiate joy when they talk about their daughter Ellen. The Macnearneys made a long journey from Prince Edward Island in Canada to PyeongChang, Korea to cheer on their daughter who is competing in Cross Country Skiing during the Winter World Games. Their daughter Ellen is one of only two athletes from Prince Edward Island with Team Canada. Ellen is 18 years old and has been competing with Special Olympics since the age of 12. Before joining Special Olympics she was on her school’s swim team. “Ellen has always been fully integrated in school and everything she did,” said Kathleen Macearney. “We live in a small community where everyone is looked out for. She joined the swim team and competed with all the regular swimmers.” Ellen’s swim coach is responsible for her first Special Olympics experience. She competed in the East Coast Championships swim meet in Atlantic Canada which included a Special Olympics division. She won a medal during the meet and has been competing ever since. “Our daughter works so hard at everything and never had the same type of success as her other siblings did -- so when she started Special Olympics, she really came into her own,” said Ellen’s father David. Although Ellen has only been training in Cross Country Skiing with Special Olympics for two years she has been skiing recreationally since she was three. She will be competing in the 500m and 1k. This is her first World Games experience and her parents say that Ellen is extremely excited to compete.
About Rafael Pacheco: I am the e-Communications Product Manager at Special Olympics HQ