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SODE World Games is a wrap with athletes bringing home over three medals

World Games to be held in Abu Dhabi in March and three Delaware athletes will be there along with one coach and one law enforcement representative.


NEWARK (DE): Five Delawareans, three athletes, one coach, and one Law Enforcement representative, attended the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, held March 14 – 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The athletes that competed for Special Olympics USA are Andrew Crout (tennis, Newark), Eddie Joyner (bowling, Middletown) and Patricia Pecora (swimming, Dover). Mary Moore (Wilmington) is the tennis head coach for Team USA and Master Corporal Gary Fournier (Delaware State Police) is Delaware’s representative in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg.

The athletes brought home over three medals!

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Crout won bronze medals in both the singles and doubles tennis tournaments while Pecora was part of the 4×50-meter freestyle relay that won a silver medal. Individually, she won bronze in the 50 free and placed fourth in the 50 back, and Joyner placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the singles and doubles bowling competition.

2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi was the largest sports and humanitarian event to date. The first ever Special Olympics World Games to be held in the Middle East and North Africa will also be the most Unified Games in the 50-year history of the Special Olympics movement, with inclusion of people of determination with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of the event.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 is an integral part of local, national and regional plans to expand opportunities for people of determination in line with Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s shared vision of a unified and inclusive society. For more information on Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit abuDhabi2019.org.

“We are extremely proud of all five of our Delaware participants who are attending the World Games,” said Ann Grunert, executive director of Special Olympics Delaware. “An event of this magnitude is a life-changing experience for anyone who attends in any role, and we are very excited to follow their efforts and eventually hear about their experiences.”

Bank of America is a longtime supporter of Special Olympics in Delaware and across the country. Bank of America has been involved since the company arrived in Delaware, most recently providing support for the local year-round athlete empowerment initiative – giving athletes a “voice” in the organization, at schools and in the community. Nationally, Bank of America is the premiere sponsor of Special Olympics USA.

“For more than three decades, Bank of America has partnered with Special Olympics as part of our long-standing commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive society,” said Chip Rossi, Bank of America Delaware Market President. “We are proud of Delaware-based Bank of America employee, Andrew Crout, and all the athletes representing Special Olympics USA at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.”

Every two years Special Olympics athletes come together to compete at the World Games, alternating summer and winter sports. This was the first Special Olympics World Games held in the Middle East/North Africa region. The 2019 edition is assumed to be the largest Special Olympics World Games in history. An estimated 7,500 athletes from 192 nations competed in 24 Olympic-type sports: athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, football, golf, gymnastics – artistic, gymnastics – rhythmic, handball, judo, kayaking, open water swimming, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, and volleyball.

WHAT IS SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Special Olympics USA is comprised of 215 athletes, 65 coaches and approximately 34 delegation members who support team operations. Team members will compete in 18 of the 24 sports offered: athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, football (soccer), golf, gymnastics – artistic, gymnastics – rhythmic, open water swimming, powerlifting, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, and volleyball.
The mission of Special Olympics Delaware is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for 4,200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. For more information, visit www.sode.org.


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