Team Saint Lucia will participate in this year’s biggest global sports and humanitarian event, the Special Olympics World Games, starting this weekend in Los Angeles, California, and continuing for one week, until 2 August.
The Saint Lucian team will be competing in three sports disciplines: athletics, Bocce, and seven-a-side football.
The athletes have been training diligently for the opportunity to represent Saint Lucia in this major international sports event and have only to look to recent history for encouragement. In the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, in Athens, Greece, Saint Lucia sent a delegation of 23 athletes, and returned with gold, silver and bronze medals in athletics and Bocce and placed fourth in football, being defeated for third place playoff in their grouping by Austria.
The World Games will draw 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries, and 25 Special Olympics Saint Lucia athletes and their coaches will be among them. The team will be lead by Junia Emmanuel-Belizaire and Denis Didier.
Special Olympics Saint Lucia is the recognised body for providing year round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.