Stage fright should not be an issue for Christine Magnusson.
After all, Magnusson is quite comfortable conversing with other athletes, or spreading the word as a volunteer for Special Olympics BC. Both are roles she loves.
Magnusson is competing in her third Special Olympics BC Games, which kick off tonight (Thursday) at the Langley Events Centre with the opening ceremonies. She will then compete this weekend in bocce ball.
It will be her second Summer Games, having also competed at the 2009 Abbotsford competition. She also did the 2011 Winter Games out at UBC.
“I remember walking into the stadium and it was full,” she described of previous opening ceremonies.
“And it was a lot of fun.”
The 37-year-old began competing about 10 years ago on the recommendation of her friend Nicole.
And for Magnusson, the competition is secondary.
“I just love the people,” she explained.
“And you get to meet so many new people from around the province.”
Magnusson makes sure she attends every Special Olympics function she can, whether it be competing in one of her five events — in addition to bocce, she does soccer, basketball, floor hockey and softball — handing out pamphlets on behalf of Special Olympics, or doing bottle drives.
All of this fits right into her personality, explained her grandmother, Doreen Heagle.
Magnusson, who graduated from Semiahmoo Secondary in 1994, has lived with her grandparents Doreen and Richard for the past number of years.
“She is just very social,” Heagle said. “She goes to anything involving Special Olympics, the parade, handing out materials.
“She does everything they ask her to,” Heagle added.
“And she just loves it all.”
Being involved with Special Olympics allows Magnusson an outlet to connect with others, something she loves to do.
“She has to have this,” Heagle explained.
“Christine didn’t have a job for awhile (and) she has to be with people.
“She goes to anything where she can chat with people.”
As a child, Magnusson struggled with concentration and while that is now under control, her grandmother said there has never been a medical diagnosis nor any health concerns.
She is also actively involved with her church, Brookswood Baptist.
Magnusson also works in the office at a local moving and storage company.
And as for her passion for Special Olympics, Magnusson knows the organization has opened plenty of doors for her, such as meeting politicians.
And for that, she thanks all the coaches and volunteers who help provide the athletes these opportunities.