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/EIN News/ -- TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Special Olympics Canada is pleased to name Marian Coulson as the Chef de Mission of the National Team for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria from March 14- 25, 2017. This International competition will see the participation of more than 3,000 athletes in 9 sports from as many as 110 nations including a strong delegation from Canada.

"Marian's colleagues and peers across the country are thrilled and so proud that she has been selected as Chef de Mission of the National Team for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games," said Sharon Bollenbach, CEO, Special Olympics Canada.  "Marian's track record speaks for itself, throughout her years with Special Olympics she has held leadership roles with provincial, national and world games teams.  Most recently, Marian was Team Manager for Special Olympics Team Canada at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, where she helped lead the team to a record medal count as well as a record-breaking number of personal bests. , I look forward to seeing Marian bring the team together and to Special Olympics Team Canada achieving success in Austria in 2017."

Coulson brings an incredible amount of passion, experience and expertise to this leadership role.  Her knowledge of Special Olympics from the grass roots program level to International competition will be a definite asset in ensuring a very successful National Team Program and World Games for our athletes, coaches and Mission Staff.  Coulson's involvement in Special Olympics spans over 38 years, first as a volunteer followed by  a combined 30 years as a staff member with  Special Olympics Ontario and  Special Olympics Canada.  She is currently the Director of Sport and Competitions with Special Olympics Canada.  Her games experience at the International level includes 9 Special Olympics World Games.  Her reputation across the globe will no doubt serve Canada well for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

"The chance to help our athletes reach their potential on the playing field at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games is what excites me most about this journey over the next year," said Ms. Coulson. "Being part of a team as it comes together and builds off each other's ideas and enthusiasm is a special experience.  I am honoured to be given this opportunity to lead Special Olympics Team Canada 2017.

As Chef de Mission Coulson's responsibility over the next 16 months will be to provide overall leadership to the Canadian team attending the Games.   A strong National Team Program will contribute to some great performances at the World Games.

CONTACT: Bill Wilson 
         Director, Communications & Marketing
         Special Olympics Canada
         416-927-9050 ext 4383