Two of Orillia’s skaters are preparing to compete in the Special Olympics Provincial Winter Games this week.

“I skate three times a week, and it’s a lot of fun,” says Taylor Shaw.

“I love figure skating, and I like learning new stuff,” Carlea Wilkie-Ellis exclaims.

Shaw and Wilkie-Ellis’ love of skating is also evident in the way dedicate their time to the ice.  Their coach, Tracey Zwiers, says the girls have trained hard to participate at the provincial championships, and she’s just as excited as the skaters to be going.

“The games are amazing.  To have the opening ceremonies and walk in as a team, with your team uniforms, that’s a big highlight at any games at any level,” Zwiers says.

Both athletes are familiar with how tough competing can be. They have been winning medals for years.  But they remain humble through their wins and say while winning is great, the real reward is measured in friendship.

“I’m excited to meet new friends and to do my best out there,” says Wilkie-Ellis.

The Special Olympics Provincial Championship starts on Thursday in Sault St. Marie.