Cameron Gordon, Charlottetown, has been a Special Olympics PEI athlete for 5 years. As a member of Team PEI 2020, Cameron will be representing PEI in the sport of snowshoe at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games 2020 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This will be Cameron's first time competing at a National Games. Speaking with his mother, Catherine MacInnis, it is clear just how very excited they both are about this opportunity.
Catherine describes her excitement ahead of watching her son compete at a National Games as "bouncing off the walls!". Catherine, who will be traveling to Thunder Bay to cheer on Cameron in person, has heard how great of an experience National Games are from the families of other athletes who have attended National Games in the past.
Heading into National Games, Cameron is channeling his excitement and anticipation into focus. Catherine describes Cameron's mentality as ready. He is focused and his head is completely into snowshoe. Catherine has been doing her part to prepare Cameron for National Games, telling him that he, and the rest of Team PEI 2020, are going to be treated like VIPs, a reference to the fact that National Games are an opportunity for our athletes to take the spotlight!
Cameron first started snowshoeing in the winter of 2018 - 2019, which, thanks to Mother Nature, and the unpredictability of PEI's winters, made training a bit of a challenge initially. Last winter didn't see a lot of snow, which limited Cameron's opportunities to train on snow. Despite this, Cameron had a tremendous showing at the 2019 Special Olympics New Brunswick Provincial Winter Games. It was a Golden Games for Cameron, who came away with 3 gold medals! It was from these results that Cameron was named to Team PEI 2020.
Catherine describes the Provincial Games as an amazing experience for not only Cameron, but for Catherine as well. Cameron, supported by Team PEI coaches and mission staff, traveled to Miramichi alone. Catherine, after going back and forth on the whether to travel over or not a few times, stayed home. Her decision was cemented after talking with a long time PEI coach, Jodi Harper, and Team PEI 2020 mission staff, who encouraged Catherine to let the volunteers take over for the weekend. Catherine was happy with her decision in the end. She feels that traveling to Miramichi without her gave Cameron independence. Additionally, she feels that opportunities like Provincial Games are a great respite opportunity for parents and caregivers. Beyond Provincial Games, Catherine feels that being involved with Special Olympics has been great for Cameron in terms of helping him to mature and develop.
Athletic by nature, Cameron started off in a Special Olympics powerlifting program when he first joined 5 years ago, something he continues currently. Cameron lifts 3 days a week with powerlifting coach, John MacDonald. Cameron has attended numerous powerlifting competitions over the years. In the lead-up to National Winter Games, powerlifting is a fantastic cross-training opportunity for Cameron.
Adequate training opportunities have not been a concern from Cameron's snowshoe coach, Michele Chapman. To quote Catherine, Cameron is "training intensely!". In addition to powerlifting, Cameron trains with Michele twice a week, and then again with Team PEI 2020's other snowshoe athlete, CJ, at a team training every 1-2 weeks. Seeing another winter with limited snow before the holidays, Cameron has made use of beach / grass snowshoes, which he has been training on since June. Cameron has also been putting in time on the track.
Getting enough cardio has never been a concern for Cameron, who, in addition to his snowshoe training and powerlifting, also dances 6 times a week. Through Holland College, where he is in the Theater Program at the School of Performing Arts, and Dance Virtuosa, Cameron takes Hip-Hop, Tap, Ballet, and Jazz classes. Catherine says that Cameron was born to dance. Cameron loves dance, especially Ballet, which helps with his balance and core strength. Cameron loves the performing side of dance. Catherine believes that dance recitals, along with the modelling that Cameron has done, at Atlantic Fashion Week in Halifax, for example, helps Cameron with competing, especially when it comes to dealing with pressure.
Cameron is ready to compete!
SUPPORT TEAM PEI 2020
If you would like to support Cameron and his Team PEI 2020 teammates please consider joining the Team PEI 2020 Booster Club.