Special Olympian gets chance to run with Schwarzenegger

Langley Special Olympian Matthew Williams, a Grade 12 student at Walnut Grove Secondary, ran in the Olympic Torch Relay on Friday with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Greeting them as they began their run was Premier Gordon Campbell.

Thousands gathered, even before the sun rose, to catch a glimpse of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger carrying the Olympic torch through Stanley Park on Friday, Feb. 12.

But one Langley Special Olympian got to go right along with the Hollywood celebrity who has now become California’s most powerful politician, every step of the way.

Special Olympic track and field star Matthew Williams not only got to take in the Torch Relay with the Governator, he got to hang out with Schwarzenegger, his wife Maria Shiver and their son and talk about Special Olympics.

Shriver is the daughter of Special Olympic founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Schwarzenegger’s office contacted the B.C. Special Olympics and asked for an athlete to join him at the relay.

“I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Williams, who is graduating this year from Walnut Grove Secondary. “[Arnold] was a great guy. He was very happy. It was a really good experience to get up close and personal with someone so well-known.”

Williams, his dad Bill and his sister got to meet and spend some time with the Schwarzenegger family at their hotel before the relay. They all got into a motorcade to go to the the Olympic relay where they were met with massive crowds.

“This was good to get the word out about the Special Olympics which has changed my life,” said Williams.

“This showed that we are able to do sports and people should look past our struggles and look at all our abilities.”

Williams medalled in the B.C. Special Games last year and will go on to compete in Nationals in London, Ont. this summer for track and field. This year, Williams spoke to crowds of 1,000 people in Ontario and hundreds in Vancouver about how Special Olympics has changed his life for the better and what it all means to him.

Williams was also a longtime newspaper carrier for The Times. He is now working at Montana’s.

He is excitedly watching the Olympic athletes, remarking that Canadian gold medallist Alexandre Bilodeau is “an inspiration.”

Just Posted

Langley City prefers Skytrian but will acceot LRT , with conditions

Ciuncil decakred Skytrain “superior” to planned LRT connection during December closed-door meeting

Langley, Nelson, Abbotsford riders takes top spots in horse vaulting at BC Games

This weekend, athletes took to the Cowichan to deliver their best poses on horseback

TWU-as-Team-Canada wins three in Brazil

Spartans are representing Canada in the inaugural FISU America Games

Langley City considering funding fence to keep homeless away from condominium

Report to council cites issues of “defecation, drug consumption, discarded needles, littering”

2018 Aldergrove Fair photo gallery

Good times from pony rides and petting zoo to free MainStage concerts

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Gold medallists at BC Games only trained together for 1 day

Ryan Goudron, Nathan Chan, Owen Pinto and Praise Aniamaka from Zone 4 - Fraser River ran together for the first time

Five taken to hospital after one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Most Read