Huge medal haul for Mayo Special Olympics team at ‘electric’ games in Limerick

Deirdre Garvin, Claremorris, paddles for Team Connacht in the kayaking event at the Special Olympics National Games in Limerick.

Deirdre Garvin, Claremorris, paddles for Team Connacht in the kayaking event at the Special Olympics National Games in Limerick.

Medals aplenty were returned to Mayo from the Special Olympics National Games in Limerick.

The Mayo team brought home with a massive haul of 40 gold medals, 29 silver, and 16 bronze medals.

Numerous other challenge awards and achievements were totted up by the successful team of 54 athletes who travelled to the City of Culture for the three-day games.

The national games saw 1,500 athletes compete for the medals, supported by an incredible 3,000 volunteers.

Teresa Ward, long-time Special Olympics organiser with the Western Care Assocation, said the atmosphere at the games was “absolutely electric”.

She said Limerick, which was also the host city for the national games in 2010, was a wonderful venue.

“The facilities, the atmosphere and the people of Limerick were fantastic,” said Ms Ward.

“They really pulled out all the stops for us. They opened their hearts to us over the course of the games. I have to give special mention to the opening ceremony on O’Connell Street because it was beautiful.”

Ms Ward said the athletes from Mayo, along with their dedicated supporters and coaches, put in an incredible performance in Limerick.

“They really did us all proud. All of that hard work, all year around, in clubs throughout the county really paid off.

Tremendous credit is due to them all.”

One hundred medallists from the national games will now be selected to go forward and represent Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015.

Ms Ward is hopeful there will be some red and green representation on the national team.

“We certainly won plenty of gold medals,” she said. “But we will have to wait and see when Team Ireland is selected, probably in September or October.”

 

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