Rockglen may have Canadian Idol former contestant Tyler Lewis about whom to brag, but not every community in Saskatchewan is home to the family of an Olympian.
The village of Simpson, located 25 km south of Watrous, is childhood home to Orest Klypak. His mother Margaret passed away several decades ago, but proud father Walter still lives in the community and was in Brandon, Man. this summer to root for his son.
In front of his Team Saskatchewan coaches and teammates, Orest was thrilled to be presented with the gold medal in five-pin bowling at the Special Olympics 2006 Summer Games. Incredibly, Orest had bowled 388 points above average in his quest for the win.
The road to the gold medal began 38 years ago when Orest, at age five, began attending school in Davidson, as Simpson School was unable to provide the type of classes Orest required. Davidson was home to a five-pin bowling alley and Orest took up the sport. He continued to knock down the pins through the years he went to school, later transferring to John Dolan School in Saskatoon.
Now working at Cosmo Industries in the city, Orest is a member of Team Saskatchewan, which last year qualified for national competition by landing in second spot in provincials. At the national games held July 18 to 22, Team Saskatchewan did not place in bowling, but Orest rose to the challenge in singles play. Countless games over three and one-half days of competition in the one bowling venue available to the athletes was no easy feat. But the effort was well worth it when Orest was announced the gold-medal winner the afternoon of Saturday, July 22.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Orest is hoping to once again represent his province in the next national games in Quebec in 2008. And judging by the proud gleam in Walter's eyes, he'll be right there alongside to cheer on his son.