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Brian Benn

For those that know Brian, his appointment as Special Olympics New Zealand's Head of Delegation (HoD) for the World Winter Games will come as no surprise.

Brian has been a dedicated and passionate volunteer from the day his friend and Special Olympics New Zealand Board Member Stew Hewett introduced him to the organisation 20 years ago.

"Ever since I've been hooked," says Brian. "It's the people, the athletes overcoming challenges that inspire me. I always come home with a smile on my face every time I'm involved. I get more out of it that I put into it really."

This was the third time Brian has gone overseas with Special Olympics New Zealand. In 2004 he took a team to the Japanese National Winter Games, and he was also part of the coaching staff for the World Winter Games in Japan the following year.

Brian knows exactly what it's like to compete at large-scale events himself. An "enthusiastic" Alpine skier, the Senior Sergeant regularly participates in the Police Ski Championships and three years ago he represented New Zealand at the International Ski Championships in Canada, bringing home two gold medals and one silver.

Personally, Brians says his goals for the Games were to "make sure every athlete arrives home safely, hopefully with some medals, and with a lot of photographs and some great memories", well those goals were certainly met!

"I'll also come home happy if every New Zealand athlete is able to compete each of their events without any disqualifications," he adds.

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