Special Olympics Canterbury athlete and Global Messenger Raymond Smith is one of our best ambassadors and is always eager to lend a hand to fellow athletes and supporters.
The 48-year-old has been training with Special Olympics for more than 25 years and has become a mentor for new athletes in Track and Field and Floor Hockey. He started with the organisation in Dunedin with Special Olympics Otago and then moved to Special Olympics Canterbury after following family north to Christchurch.
A now proud Cantabrian, Raymond cites the Crusaders as his favourite sports team and Richie McCaw as his favourite sportsperson.
Raymond is looking to compete in the 100m sprint, 200m sprint, long jump, and relay at the LA2015 Games. He has been training twice a week and heading to the gym most days.
“I’m fit-as, and need to be as I’m old-as,” he jokes. “I went to the Special Olympics Trans Tasman Tournament in Cairns, Australia in 2012 and found myself competing against 18 and 20-year-old elite athletes.”
“I’m really looking forward to LA. It will be nice to spend a month in hot weather leaving Christchurch’s winter behind, and also to check out Disneyland. To date the Global Messenger programme was the best thing I’ve ever done but I think the World Summer Games will be up there too.”