May 24, 2004
This week, we are launching a story written by Joseph Theroux, from Edmonton, Alberta. Joseph is a 33 year old who was born in Edmonton and has lived there all his life. He was born with cerebral palsy. He had hip surgery at age 19. This made it possible for him to walk more easily and even run. He no longer lost his balance so much. The surgery changed his quality of life.
As a small child, he also discovered he was hard of hearing. As a child, Joseph was in the public school system for 10 years. For the last three years, he has been in Academic Upgrading at NorQuest College. He is presently volunteering as a porter 2 days a week at a nursing home for seniors. As well, he is working hard with a tutor to improve his reading, writing and vocabulary at the Centre for Family Literacy. He likes to work out at Club Fit. A couple of years ago, he participated in the Alberta Special Olympics.
Staff at the Centre for Family Literacy look forward to seeing Joseph's cheerful smile when he arrives each time for tutoring.
I decided to join the Alberta Special Olympics in 2001 to be on Edmonton team. I practiced at Kinsmen Sports Centre and at the outdoor track near NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology). I like meeting people and everything done in teams.
At the beginning, I was doing exercises before I was practicing running. After my practices, I noticed that I was having trouble breathing. I went to the doctor to get a note for my coach. The doctor recommended me not to run more than two hundred metres. Then, my practices improved. But I still didn't know if I would be good enough to go to the games.
My coach decided to qualify me for the games in Barrhead, Alberta. I was so excited and nervous to go to the games. There were many teams and people from different places in Alberta. We had a special ceremony the night before the games with guest speakers, presentations, dancers and everyone was looking forward to prepare for the games. During the games, I was looking forward to win the races. I came third in the fifty metres run. I had to work hard to run in the two hundred metres and I came in second place. I won two medals that I didn't expect to win.
I really had a good time being in the Special Olympics because this is the only team that I can qualify for and I deserve to be a winner! I can run fast like the bionic man!