A celebration of life will take place this weekend for Avery Newman, an accomplished Whistler Adaptive Sports Program athlete and Special Olympian who passed away suddenly last month.
Newman, 24, was a regular competitor in several summer and winter sports and one of Whistler Adaptive's most active athletes.
"Everyone at the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Avery Newman," read a statement from the local organization. "An athlete and cherished friend, Avery was a tremendous supporter of Whistler Adaptive. He participated and competed in multiple sports on a year-round basis as well as volunteered for our organization.
"His enthusiasm and love for adaptive sport will be long remembered."
Some of Newman's greatest athletic achievements came in ski racing. In February, he won a bronze medal in slalom at the advanced level during the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea. Newman was also a national and provincial champion in multiple skiing events.
"Avery Newman was a great athlete with a larger-than-life spirit," read a statement from Special Olympics B.C. "His enthusiasm and spirit made him a wonderful representative of our province and our country.
"We and his teammates and coaches are grateful to have known him and he will be missed by many."
The celebration of life is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Visitors are asked to bring helium balloons in lieu of flowers.