Trio primed for historic appearance at Special Olympics 2022 USA Games
Micah Lambert, Bridget Marshall and Eden Woollery have a date with history.
The trio are poised to become the first local athletes ever to represent Bermuda at the Special Olympics 2022 USA Games.
“This is our first time taking part in the USA Games,” Karen Woollery, the Special Olympics Bermuda national director, confirmed.
The Games will be held in Orlando, Florida from June 5-10.
It is anticipated and subject to change that athletes will compete in nineteen sports at ten different venues, including the world famous ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex.
Lambert and Marshall will represent the island in tennis and Woollery in equestrian.
The trio are presently being put through their paces in preparation for the upcoming event by their respective coaches Brent Smith (tennis) and Mike Watson (equestrian).
“They train weekly at the moment but training will increase next year as it gets closer to the Games,” Woollery added.
“They are very excited more so because they will get to go to Disney World.”
All three athletes have experience competing internationally having represented Bermuda at the 2019 Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, where equestrienne Woollery earned two silver medals and Marshall a bronze.
In all, Bermuda came away from the Games with eight medals. Several team members also placed in their respective sports.
Woollery, the youngest member of Bermuda's team at 14, earned silver medals in the Level CS English Working Trials and Level CS English Equitation, while Solay Thomas captured silver in the softball throw event.
Carlton Thompson, the most senior member at 51, earned bronze in the singles bowling competition.
Kemari Dill, Kris Trott and Damon Emery also secured bronze in separate 100 metres races as did Marshall in the singles Level 4 tennis competition.
Bermuda’s athletes will also be accompanied at next summer’s Special Olympics 2022 USA Games by team leader Danielle Gibbons.
Woollery says Gibbons comes highly qualified for the role.
“Danielle has had leadership training in North Carolina and was chosen to sit on an international council of athletes that have been meeting on Zoom to plan the USA Games,” she added.
“Danielle is the rep on the council that is representing the Caribbean region.”
Woollery says she and her fellow Special Olympics Bermuda colleagues are also keen to see the island’s athletes compete at the 2023 Special Olympics World Games.
“After the 2022 USA Games we have to get our athletes trained and qualified for the 2023 Summer World Games that will be held in Berlin, Germany,” she added.
“We had 13 for Dubai and so we are looking to increase that number to about 20 for Germany.”
It is the first time that Germany are hosting the Games, which will be held from June 17 – 24, 2023.
The Special Olympics was founded in 1968 in the United States by Eunice Kennedy-Shriver, sister of former US president John F Kennedy.
Boasting more than 5 million athletes in 174 countries, Special Olympics is the world's largest sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities and is officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee.