Team Saint Lucia captured 20 medals at the week-long Special Olympics World Games LA2015, which ended on Sunday night in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The tally included five gold medals, 12 silver and three bronze, in the multi-sport competition for persons dealing with intellectual disabilities.
Saint Lucia got team silver after losing to Jamaica in bocce on Monday, but Cecil Fevrier beat opponents from Israel, Gilbraltar and Hong Kong to get individual men’s gold. Jeremiah Charles got silver.
In football, Zandra Herman, Denver Monchery, Jean Paul ‘Troy’ Isidore, Travis Charlery and Austin Jeremie helped guide Saint Lucia past Spain and Switzerland to earn seven-a-side football gold.
On the track, the 4x100m men’s team of Nody Gilbert, Darwin Simon, Joshua Henry and Benvick Winifred won gold. In the men’s 200m, Joshua finished in 27.49 seconds to take the Division 35 gold. Benvick finished in 29.72 for Division 39 bronze, whilst Nody took Division 43 silver in 24.53 seconds.
The male team continued their prowess in the 100M with Joshua bagging a Silver medal and Darwin Simon a Bronze medal in their respective divisions. Marvin Anthony also got silver in the softball throw.
Among the ladies, Cheryl Louisy got silver in the 100m. Cheryl along with Kurshel Herman both captured silver in the 200.
The team closed out on the weekend with yet another gold medal, winning the women’s bocce doubles.
According to Junia Emmanuel-Belizaire, head of the Saint Lucia delegation, the team has been lifted by the support from back home, as they have been greatly encouraged by feedback from their compatriots during the time in Los Angeles.
“It served to motivate our athletes and coaches even more knowing there was support out in the universe” said Junia. “Comments were read to them every day to ensure they knew that our people were celebrating their achievements. They were dedicated, focussed and strong throughout all the adversities and competitions they faced, and at the end of the day received their just rewards.
“But as many of you have said our work has just began. Our struggles to get this point were enormous, and through the help of many who may not have had faith in us we excelled to reinforce our commitment to our movement.
“Today we celebrate the achievements of our Special Olympics Athletes and look forward to implementing the Unified Programme where “normal” athletes can be partners in the same arenas with persons with disabilities with the hope they too can understand and be part of a greater movement of acceptance of persons.”