Local athletes came home from the Special Olympics this week with a very creditable haul of two golds, two silver, and four bronze medals.
Unbelieveably, half of those belong to just one person - John Michael Gannon (18 ), a pupil at St Hilda’s on Grace Park Road in Athlone - who won two gold, and two silver in artistic gymnastics.
John Michael, from Cloughan, Co Offaly, won his gold medals in the high bar and rings, with his silvers achieved on the parallel bars and on the floor.
As reported last week, Peter Oxley from Tyrellspass, bagged himself a bronze in the 100m backstroke, with Sam Battams from Mullingar managing a similar-coloured rostrum place in the women’s five-a-side football.
The last two medals of the week went to two members of the Athlone Special Olympics Club - Paul Dalton from Ballinahown and Michael Glynn from Roscommon - each won a bronze medal in nen’s basketball.
Athletes from Ballinasloe competed very successfully also, bringing home three golds and one silver medal from the two-week tournament in Athens.
Jonathan Griffin from the town won a pair of golds in the team and doubles bowls, while Jon Loughnane from Ahascragh, Co Galway, a member of the Ballinasloe Eagles Special Olympic Club, won a gold and a silver trails riding and the team relay.
Team Ireland comprised 126 athletes, 49 coaches, and 200 volunteers, and was the 10th largest delegation in attendance at the Greek capital. It returned with a total of 107 medals: 31 gold, 44 silver and 32 bronze.