By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
THE Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development’s National Commission for Persons with Disabilities hosted a reception for Special Olympics athletes and medalists.
The reception was held at Superclubs Breezes, with a surprise visit by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
Mrs Miller-Uibo made a tribute to the achievements of the Special Olympians and took photos with them.
“It is indeed an honour for me to be amont our Special Olympians and to show them my love and recognition for their achievements,” said Miller-Uibo. “They have achieved world-renown recognition for their performances in the same way that all Olympians do for our country.”
At the games, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean gathered in competition in front of a spectator audience of 125,000 people.
Gilbert Williams, national director of Special Olympics, said the recognition of the athletes’ achievement marks the beginning of greater things to come.
“This recognition of our athletes’ achievements is a long time in coming,” he said. “It only marks the beginning of greater things to come in the spirit of equality and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.
“It is hoped that The Bahamas will soon be the host country of several Regional, Special Olympics competitions.”
In attendance at the reception was Social Services and Urban Development Minister Obediah Wilchcombe, Education Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin, Housing and Transport Minister Jobeth Coleby-Davis and Senator Kirk Russell from Grand Bahama.
Mr Wilchcombe congratulated the members of the team and their coaches.
He said: “I am so very proud of our Special Olympics Athletes and Coaches and I congratulate each and every one of them. It is their hard work, perseverance, dedication and love of the sport that has led them to become international champions, and this is a proud day for us all in The Bahamas, as we celebrate their victory.
“I want to especially thank Mrs Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who should be commended for taking the time to celebrate with us this evening and show the Special Olympians that they are included as part of the Bahamian Athletic Community.”
The 2022 Special Olympics Team comprised nine delegates and 14 athletes who competed in the USA Games in Orlando, Florida from June 5 to June 11, 2022.
The official medal count breakdown includes individual medals, two team medals, four gold and two bronze medals.