(Katie Xu of the Goulbourn Skating Club was named as the 2020 Athlete of the Year by Special Olympics Ontario. Photo: Submitted)
With an awards case that outshines most hall of fame athletes, Stittsville’s skating champion Katie Xu has just added two more! Katie was named as the 2020 Athlete of the Year by Special Olympics Ontario. To add to that, Katie was also selected as the September Women in Sport Athlete of the Month by Dynes Sport Management Ottawa.
Katie has skated out of the Goulbourn Skating Club since 2011 and is coached by Cathy Skinner. Katie has autism and struggled with school and social activities. She has excelled as an athlete, particularly in swimming and figure skating. She’s competed at Provincial and National Games in both sports, with figure skating taking her as far as Austria for the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2017.
In recognition of their skating success as World Champions, having won three medals each at the Austria Special Olympics, Katie and her skating partner Jack Fan, received the honour of the Katie Xu and Jack Fan ice rink being named after the skating partners at the Cardel Recreation Complex-Goulbourn in 2018.
Since joining Special Olympics, Katie – along with 45,000 athletes with an intellectual disability across the country – has built the confidence to stare down any hurdle and respond, “Challenge accepted.”
The Special Olympics Ontario Awards Ceremony will be held virtually on October 8th, 2020. Congratulations Katie on these well-deserved awards.
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