Declan Forcier ran quickly to his neighbourhood basketball courts in Duncan on Thursday, where the joyful 11-year-old showed CHEK News’ cameras how he could make basket after basket.
The junior athlete has never let his disability slow him down, and now his first time competing against other little people has earned him seven medals from the World Dwarf Games in Germany.
“Yes, I was very nervous,” Forcier told CHEK News Thursday.
“There was so much competitors that I don’t know, the chills,” he said.
“And then when you got the gold?” asked CHEK News.
“I was impressed with myself,” said Forcier.
In all, Forcier won four golds in track and field, a bronze medal in basketball, a bronze medal in soccer, and a silver medal in volleyball – all while his mother and sister cheered him on from the sidelines.
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“He did really good. He like crushed his personal bests that he practiced in,” said sister Makenna Forcier.
“For us, we live in an average-sized world. For him, the world’s not built for him, so to go and experience an event like that where he walks in and he’s not the minority, you know? He’s surrounded by people his size,” said Forcier’s mother, Tammy Isaachsen.
This truly was a family effort, with single mom Tammy Isaachsen fundraising for the whirlwind trip to Germany. Since there was no sponsorship to get Team BC there, the financial barriers meant her son was the only Team BC athlete at the World Dwarf Games.
Forcier’s 15-year-old sister, Makenna, who is a track and field athlete herself, trained him.
“He was like, the happiest he’s been in a while,” she said. “He was thrilled when he ran the 40 metres. It was amazing for him.”
“Yeah, there’s a screen that shows what everyone’s time is and I looked at it and was like, ‘Yes!'” said Declan Forcier.
“He blew his goals out of the water and has just made us all so proud,” said Isaachsen. “He blew his goals out of the water and has just made us all so proud.”
The 11-year-old already plans to compete at the next world games in four years, and his family hopes more B.C. athletes will be inspired to join him and win their own medals.