STELLARTON — Cathy Mason has expressed surprise upon being named a Special Olympics Canada Movement Maker.
Mason received one of the awards that are being presented in celebration of Special Olympics Canada’s 50th anniversary. Her award salutes her 26 years as a volunteer with Special Olympics Nova Scotia. She has travelled the world for international competitions.
“It was shocking,” she said upon hearing about the award. “There are many good people to select from in the category.”
Part of her fame stems from when she shaved her head to motivate her softball team.
Athletes, partners and founding members are also receiving awards like the one being bestowed on her.
Mason is preparing to volunteer at her fifth Special Olympics World Games next March in Abu Dhabi. She has previously served at World Games in Boise, Idaho, South Korea, Greece and Los Angeles.
Mason has also participated at 10 Canadian Special Olympics, starting with the 1998 Summer Games in Sudbury, Ont.
She was volunteering with the Pictou County softball team that represented Nova Scotia when she offered to shave her head if the team could advance to the gold medal game. Greg Massaro and Norma Paris were members of local team.
An electrifying moment followed during the final inning of a close game with Nova Scotia at bat with two outs and the bases loaded. The batter was someone Mason said “never hit in his life.”
The first two pitches were strikes before the batter drilled a line drive down the left field line for a bases-clearing triple that won the game.
Massaro played ball at the Special Olympics but more recently has been a figure skater.
Mason is being joined by fellow Pictou County resident and Special Olympics volunteer Ross MacIntosh on Special Olympics Canada’s mission staff at the 2019 Games in Abu Dhabi. Mason is looking after basketball, while MacIntosh is volunteering with weightlifting.
One of her highlights was during the 2011 Summer Games in Greece when side trips included stops at the Acropolis and Marathon.
From left: Greg Massaro stands with Special Olympics Canada Movement Maker award recipient Cathy Mason. (Goodwin photo)