Special Olympics Delaware athletes take home 11 medals from World Games
Delaware sent four to the Special Olympics World Games this summer together who won four gold medals, six silvers and a bronze.
Bowler Danny Yonker from Milford won a gold medal and Forrie Brown from Wilmington placed fourth in the singles event. They each won silver medals in the four-man teams and doubles events.
Swimmer Robin Long from Newark took home three gold medals and a fourth-place ribbon. Her teammate Ginger Shaud from Rehoboth Beach won two silver medals, a bronze and a fourth-place ribbon.
This is the first time these four athletes competed in the World Games, which took place in Los Angeles this year. Jon Buzby, spokesperson for Special Olympics Delaware, said that the number of victories their athletes made this year were unexpected.
“When you send a team of four to a World Games, we were kind of hoping that every athlete would win one medal, which was the case, but we also realistically thought that the state of Delaware would just win one medal combined. For them to come home with 11 medals over the course of the event, it’s just a huge accomplishment," said Buzby.
Buzby added that winning this many medals go beyond validation.
“The myth that people with intellectual disabilities cannot train, cannot compete and cannot play on a world class stage--it’s just done away with when something like this happens. For the 6,500 athletes who were out there in Los Angeles, it was an opportunity for them to show the world what they can do. when given the opportunity," said Buzby.
This year, 6,500 athletes from 165 countries competed in the games. The next Special Olympics World Games will take place in Austria in the winter of 2017.