The multi-sport athlete is competing for Canada in snowshoeing at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games that are scheduled from March 14 to 25 in Austria.
Martin was feted during a sendoff reception last Thursday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Now 20 years old, Martin resides in Salem and has been an athlete with Special Olympics Pictou County for eight years.
This is the first time in 30 years an athlete from Pictou County has been named to Team Canada. The previous competitor was swimmer Susan Bailey, who medaled at the 1987 World Summer Games in Indiana.
“We’re super excited for Daniel,” said Cathy Mason, who has attended past Canadian and World Games as a coach and mission staff. “He certainly has shown what he can do at the Nova Scotia Games. He’s come a long way from 12 years old, so we’re looking forward to how he does in Austria.”
Martin has been a competitive swimmer since 2009 and has won swim medals, and began snowshoeing in 2011. He has also been a member of the curling team but had to set the sport aside to focus on snowshoeing the past two winters.
He has excelled as a snowshoe athlete, winning several regional, provincial and national competitions. He won two gold medals at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, N.L. to earn the spot on Team Canada this year.
Martin has attended out-of-province training camps. He participates in a regular fitness routine at home and has been working with his Pictou County snowshoeing coach Carla Dumaresq.
His goal for Austria is “to be fast.”
Martin helped himself prepare for his trip to the Worlds recently by competing at the 2017 Nova Scotia Winter Games at Camp Aldershot.
He won gold medals in men’s 400, 800 and 1,600 metres and took home a bronze medal in his 200-metre race.
Martin was among 219 athletes from across the province and 24 from Pictou County who took home a total of 11 medals.
Pictou County athletes competed in floor hockey, snow shoeing, figure skating and curling.
Daniel Martin sits in front of a set of snowshoes he competes with and is joined by his coaches – Angela Fogarty, left, and Carla Dumaresq. (Goodwin photo)