Kai Freeland loves to sail. “When the wind fills the sail and my friend Jeff (Lyall) and I go out on the Bay, is the
best feeling”, he says. When water turns to ice, 23-year-old Kai has found another way to “sail”: speed skating. A
2010 provincial champion at three distances and a silver medalist in a fourth, Freeland earned a chance to compete in the national championships during March 2012. The Special Olympics Canada Winter Games were held in St. Albert, Alberta. Competing against athletes from each of the provinces and the Northwest Territories, Kai won three medals: gold in 500 meters, silver in 333 meters and bronze in 777 metres. Kai skates with the Quinte Blades Speed skating Club in Belleville and is coached by Laura Woodall. Although he has enjoyed success in Special Olympics events – he is also a provincial medalist in track and field and swimming, he enjoys the fact that speed skating is an “integrated” sport meaning
that he competes on an ability basis against athletes from many walks of life. Sailing with the Quinte Sailability program has allowed Kai to progress through the ‘White Sail’ levels to increased independence. He’s hopeful that he may follow a number of QS sailors and begin racing.