Paru le vendredi 12 octobre 2007 sur Torstar.com
Canada back from Shanghai with medals galore
TheStar.com - Sports - Canada back from Shanghai with medals galore
October 12, 2007
Canada's athletes flexed their muscles at the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, averaging more than a medal apiece at the event which wrapped up yesterday.
The squad of 83 Special Olympians will be bringing 112 medals back to Canada from the Games in China, which featured more than 7,500 athletes competing in 25 sports.
"The athletes felt as if this was a world-class event," said Vasis Charitsis, the team's media officer. "It was an overwhelming experience for them. They excelled on and off the playing field."
Some of the highlights included:
Emily Boycott from Acton, Ont., leading a powerhouse rhythmic gymnastics team to 25 medals, including her five gold in Level 4, the highest division.
The men's softball team from St. Catharines, which earned the right to represent Canada four years ago at the World Games in Ireland only to learn there weren't any diamonds to play on there, stuck together and were able to compete and win gold this time.
The soccer team from B.C., which featured the only female player on the men's team in Mandy Manzardo, who more than holds her own, pulled off a thrilling 5-4 victory in penalty kicks to win gold over Peru.
Sheila Lawrie of Port Elgin, Ont., at 53 the oldest competitor on Team Canada, came through with a pair of gold medals in swimming.
John Barrett of Halifax collected four gold medals in weightlifting.
The Special Olympics are for athletes with an intellectual disability. The Canadian train on a regular basis with volunteer coaches and have to compete against 1,000 athletes at the national Special Olympics for a spot on the world team. The motto is "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Charitsis said the organizers of the Games in Shanghai did a tremendous job.
"The Chinese really opened themselves up and showcased the country," she said.
"The opening ceremonies were like no other, from the fireworks to the a-list celebrities like Governor (Arnold) Schwarzenegger to Colin Farrell to Yao Ming to when the flame of hope came into the stadium. They definitely showed they're world class."