ANTIGONISH, N.S. - A pair of Newfoundland and Labrador flags flapped in the breeze as the white SUV crossed the St. F.X. campus in Antigonish Monday afternoon.
Mary and Ed Hynes, along with Maureen Brenton, made sure their provincial allegiances were known as they arrived for the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games.
“Oh, My Gosh, we wouldn’t miss it,” Mary said, when asked about making the trip to Nova Scotia to watch their children compete.
Eddie Hynes and Nadia Brenton are Team Newfoundland and Labrador soccer players.
Both are participating in their seventh national games.
Hynes, 37, was a member of his province’s silver-medalling winning squad at nationals in 2014.
In more than 15 years in Special Olympics, the St. John’s native has also competed in floor hockey and gymnastics.
Brenton, 36, has competed for more than 20 years, including a trip to the World Games in Dublin, Ireland, in 2003, where she raced to gold, silver and bronze medal in athletics.
She will be the only female player to take the pitch for Newfoundland and Labrador in Antigonish.
“There are no words to describe [it],” Maureen said, when asked how Special Olympics have benefitted her daughter.
She added there have not only been the athletic opportunities, but also the fostering of many – and lasting – friendships.
“It gave her more of a social life than she ever had before,” Maureen said.
Mary agreed, echoing how her son has realized similar benefits.
“There has been such a boost in confidence and self-esteem,” she said.
Mary added they have “blossomed” since becoming part of Special Olympics.
And, by the way, Eddie and Nadia are much more than teammates.
They are also engaged.
With files from Juanita Mercer, The Telegram