Delores “Dee” Neukomm has a special gift. She has the ability to inspire her athletes to push themselves to their utmost potential. She has a positive effect on all those she meets and gives of herself unselfishly to the betterment of Prince George athletics.
As a rhythmic gymnastics coach, Dee has seen her athletes go all the way to compete and win at Special Olympic events. She has qualified athletes for three World Games in a row: 1991, 1995 and 1999. She recently returned from the World Games in Raleigh, North Carolina, where two of her athletes received multiple medals.
Dee started working on the executive of Prince George Special Olympics in 1986 and in 1989 she turned to coaching.
Her daughter, Lara, was named Canadian Special Olympic Athlete of the Year in 1990 and qualified for the World Games in 1991. After her daughter’s passing in 1991, Dee continued to give of herself. In 1998 she was recognized as the Special Olympic Provincial Coach of the Year. That same year she was honoured with the title of Canadian Female Coach of the Year.
Dee plans to continue coaching “until they do not want me anymore.” The arrival of the B.C. Special Olympic Summer Games in Prince George in 2001 will undoubtedly provide an opportunity for local athletes and coaches like Neukomm to continue to shine.