N.W.T. speedskater wins 2 silver medals in South Korea

The Northwest Territories' only athlete in the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games came back with two silver medals.

Speedskater Cynthia Simmons, 14, finished second in the 777 metre and 333 metre events at PyeongChang, South Korea.

Shane Clark, who has been Simmons' coach at the Yellowknife Speed Skating Club for six years, said he wasn't surprised about Simmons' wins, but was surprised when she phoned him personally from South Korea to let him in on the good news.

"[It was] probably about 45 minutes or an hour after she finished her race,” he said.

“I was able to follow her races online, and it hadn't even shown online how she had done, so it was exciting to get the call."

Clark says Simmons has one of the best techniques for speedskating, with a very low stance.

Simmons was named Female Athlete of the Year by Special Olympics N.W.T. for 2012.

She and Yukon figure skater Michael Sumner were the only two northerners among the 141 athletes on Canada’s team.

Sumner, 16, also won a silver medal in his event. He returned to a hero’s welcome at the Whitehorse airport on Wednesday.

"He's just done an amazing job,” said his mother, Deb Sumner.

“He's worked really hard, and he went there on his own. He met a lot of friends, which I knew he would, and he feels really on top of the world and so do we.”

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