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LDS Church News

LDS brothers compete at Canada Special Olympics

By Kara McMurray

LDS Church News

Published: Saturday, July 26 2014 12:05 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, July 25 2014 2:05 p.m. MDT

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Two brothers are chasing their dreams of competing on Team Canada 2015 at the World Special Olympic events in Los Angeles.

They are well on their way. Brothers Jared, 40, and Matthew Macmichael, 42, of the Sault Ste Marie 1st Ward, Sudbury Ontario Stake, were chosen to swim on Team Ontario for the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 8-13.

Jared, who has Central Processing Disorder, took away a bronze medal in the medley relay. He just missed taking the gold in the butterfly after he was disqualified for an improper double touch.

Matthew, who has Down syndrome, came away from the competition with a set: bronze, silver and gold medals. He took a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle, silver in the 50-meter freestyle and gold in the 200-meter freestyle.

Judith Macmichael, Jared and Matthew’s mother, said the two were happy to be able to compete.

“It’s a thrill to get anything there,” she said. “They both had a wonderful week, and they both did really well.”

To prepare for the Special Olympics this year, Jared and Matthew’s father, Gordon Macmichael, helped to train them. Sister Macmichael said they use their faith to prepare themselves, too.

“They say a little prayer to themselves that they’ll be able to do their best [before competing],” she said.

Jared had the opportunity to compete previously on Team Canada in 2011 at the Special Olympic World Summer Games in Athens, Greece, taking home two silver medals and one bronze medal.

The brothers are also training hard to have the opportunity to qualify and compete for Team Canada 2015 at the World Special Olympic events in Los Angeles.

Matthew and Jared are both highly active in sports. Jared will soon have the opportunity to represent Northern Ontario at the provincial games for cross-country skiing, and Matthew will represent Northern Ontario at the provincial games for curling. They both also participate in softball and track and field.

Matthew and Jared also work hard in the community. Matthew has spent 15 years volunteering at Sault College in the library and mailroom. Jared works at a local grocery store and has provided 23 years of volunteer service, teaching tiny tots swim classes at the local YMCA.

Both brothers are also active in their single adult ward and frequently attend the Toronto Ontario Temple, which is almost eight hours away from where they live, to participate in ordinances for their ancestors.

They will soon move to Toronto and will have the opportunity to attend the temple even more frequently, as Brother and Sister Macmichael have accepted the call to serve as Toronto Ontario Temple president and matron beginning Nov. 1.

kmcmurray@deseretnews.com