Athlete Stories - Harvey Chambers
Athlete Interview with Harvey Chambers - Westman Region
Q: How long have you participated in Special Olympics?
A: I started in 1993 – 1995 and then started again in 1997 up until this year, so over 25 years.
Q: What sports have you participated in?
A: I think I have done most of the sports available!
Softball – 3 national games
Soccer – 3 national games
Floor Hockey & golf, provincials and local tournaments, have played in most if not all Heavy Evanson Memorial Gold Tournaments
5 & 10 pin bowling
Q: What was life like before Special Olympics?
A: Well, I didn’t have much of a social life and wasn’t very active
Q: How did you hear about Special Olympics Manitoba?
A: I heard about SOM through my friend Art Haggstrom and then, Heavy Evanson asked me to come to the bowling alley one day.
Q: What has been the biggest difference in your life since joining Special Olympics Manitoba?
A: I have more friends, I socialize more and get way more exercise. I have lots of fun playing sports.
Q: Tell us about your first National Games experience with Special Olympics.
A: My first National Games experience was in floor hockey, we dominated! I don’t think we lost a game all season and then in the next few years after that. I didn’t know much about competing at that level, but there was a lot of training, playing lots of games to tune up for the nationals. I learned different things from our coaches, I did not understand why we were doing things sometimes in practice, but then later when we were playing games I started to understand why the coaches had us do drills over and over.
Q: How many provincial games and national games have you been to?
A: I have been to numerous provincial games in every sport that I have participated in and most have lead to a national games appearance and experience. I have enjoyed making new friends and having lots of interactions with the athletes and coaches. I have travelled from PEI to Vancouver, touched the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Each National Games experience is always a new experience.
Q: Since in-person programs have shut down, how has not having practices or social interaction with other athletes affected you?
A: Since in-person programs have shut down, I have kept in contact on Facebook. Although, if I met someone at the mall or in the street, I would always take the time to have a chat with them. I have been working overnight shifts and sleeping longer, which isn’t healthy I know. To get exercise, I do stretches at home and have done lots of walking which has helped me keep in shape. I have been watching TV, lately curling, and trying to pick up things from the pros! I have cooked better meals as I have had more time to do that. No social interaction really sucks!
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: I want to address all the coaches and volunteers who have put time in to teach us and hone our skills to make us better athletes and teams. We athletes say, THANK YOU!
In closing, I would like to say, “Stay healthy, eat healthy, stay positive, do your best, achieve your goals, and have fun!”
“If you cannot win, be brave in the attempt.”