Special Olympics: Three medals for Ireland in Athens

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Updated: June 28, 2011

After the second day of competition in the Special Olympics in Athens, Ireland has a total of three medals with a bronze on Monday evening , for Westmeath swimmer Peter Oxley. Oxley from Tyrellpass was making his first appearance for Ireland, in the men’s 100m backstroke event.

In the morning session, Templeogue’s Mary Gavin gained Ireland’s first silver medal of the 2011 games in the 100 metre back-crawl. Mary also gained a silver in the 2010 European Championships in Poland.

Ireland’s first medal came on the opening day of competition when Wicklow’s Aisling Beacom collected a bronze in the 800 m freestyle..

Yesterday’s results bring Ireland’s total medal haul to three, after Aisling Beacom won bronze in Sunday’s 800 metre freestyle.

From June 25 to July 4 2011 in Athens, 7,500 Special Olympics Athletes from 185 nations will be competing in 22 Olympic-type sports events in an event .

Special Olympics is a non-profit organization that was officially founded in 1968, giving form to the vision of its founder, Eunice Kennedy-Shriver, sister of USA President John F Kennedy. A vision born in June 1962 in a summer camp at Eunice’s home, where children and adults with intellectual disabilities were

invited in order for her to explore their abilities in various sports activities.

Only two years after the summer of 1968, took place in Illinois in the U.S. the first International Special Olympics Summer Games with 1,000 participating athletes with intellectual disabilities from 26 states of the U.S. and Canada, while in December 1971 Special Olympics received from the U.S. Olympic

Committee the privilege to be among the two organizations in America have the right to use the title “Olympics”.

Special Olympics have evolved to a Global Movement that offers the opportunity to 3.1 million athletes with intellectual disabilities from 185 countries, mainly through sports, to reinforce their self-esteem, to discover their special abilities, and in this way become active and useful members of their societies.

In the games held every year by the Special Olympics movement in the world, offering the opportunity to take part in more than 30 Olympic-type summer and winter events, participate 550,000 athletes from the US, 500,000 from Europe, 700,000 from China, and 410,000 from India.

Hopefully more success for the Irish team in the days ahead.

You can find thefull timetable of events and all the results (once verified) from Athens on the Games Organising Committee’s website here http://www.athens2011.org/en/index.asp

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