Brenda Henry

Gold, Silver and Bronze for this Special Champion

Special Olympics athletes begin their games knowing they have the ability to do their best to excel in their sport. Brenda Henry of Midland epitomized this essence of not only amateur sports, but carried this credo to its fullest extent in February of 1997 at the Special Olympics World Winter Games held right here in Huronia. Brenda, a seven-year veteran of the Special Olympics for the local program at that point, was a member of the Canadian athletes team who represented the country at this prestigious event. She competed in the five-kilometre cross country, the 1K and 3K skiing races, and as part of the inspired Canadian 3 x 1K relay team at the Special Olympic Games held at Duntroon near Collingwood. Brenda warmed up for greatness by finishing eighth in her heat of the 5K event. After this event she told reporters and that she had hopes for better results in the 1K and 3K races later in the Games. She knew her strength was always in the shorter races. Brenda proved not only to be an excellent athlete, but also to be something of a psychic as her predictions came true in a big way. The final two days of the Special Olympics World Winter Games proved to be better than she could have hoped. In the three-kilometre cross country ski event, Brenda finished the demanding course in a time of 33 minutes, 13.7 seconds. Brenda earned the gold medal with that time and became the best in the world. She followed that gold medal performance by hauling in even more medals. Brenda finished third in the 1K individual sprint ski race in a time of 9:44:1. That performance brought Brenda a bronze medal. As part of the three-member relay team, each member raced 1K and Canada finished with a time of 32:00.5, good enough for second place and a silver medal. Brenda finished her collection of Olympic medals with one of each, a gold, a silver and a bronze. It was a performance for the ages. Brenda’s performance not only set a standard of excellence for all local atheltes to shoot for, she also inspired other athletes to work hard and dedicate themselves to their sport. Through diligence and determination in the world of sports, anything is possible.