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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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A noteworthy event of 1968 was the winning of the Canadian Lefthanded Golfers Championship by Bill Campbell, which was held at the Portage Golf Club.
A touch football league was organized during 1968, with games being played at the Island Park Stadium.
Other recreational activities, which we should mention, are: bowling, skating, billiards, badminton, baton twirling, weight train ing, streamlining, bridge lessons, ceramics, painting classes and square dancing.
As you can see, for the sports minded, there is something of in terest for everyone in Portage la Prairie.
The sports section of this book would not be complete if we failed to mention Gary Neault, a native of Portage who is now residing in Winnipeg, Man.
We mention Gary, not only for the honors that have been bestowed on him, but also because of the inspiration he is to others who are similarly afflicted.
Gary was a healthy young man when he went to work at Thompson, Manitoba. In 1965, when he was trapped under 8 tons of ore, he must have wondered if he would ever see sunlight again. Being rescued was the important thing, and maybe he never doubted that he would be able to work and move around normally if he was fortunate enough to survive.
We are happy to say that Gary was rescued and survived. We are sad to say that since that time he has been a paraplegic.
This courageous young man has since proven that a handicap can sometimes be just a frame of mind. Would you believe that he won a gold medal and smashed the record in a freestyle swim event at Edmonton, Alberta. He also took the gold medal for best paraplegic basketball player, and captured the silver and bronze in other events!
In November of 1968, he went to 'Tel Aviv, Israel, and won a silver medal for the "club throw" and a bronze medallion as a special souvenir, at the Para-Olympic Games.
The morale of the above story is that "sometimes a handicap can be a stepping stone".