National Director of Special Olympics- Dominica, Ainsworth Irish has said that the Dominican athletes who competed in the recently-held Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, lived up to expectations.
He made that statement during an emotional interview on Saturday.
The Special Olympics team arrived in Dominica on Saturday and were given a warm welcome by dignitaries, family members and members of the public.
Full marks have been given to Alexia Wade, Melissa Dupigny, Agar Auguiste, Liza Lucien, Claudius Chipley, Crispin Dailey and Ricky Barry, who did not medal, but gave a very good account of himself, according to Irish.
Alexia Wade and Melissa Dupigny executed gold-winning individual performances in the 100M run and Bocce singles respectively. Liza Lucien and Melissa Dupigny then teamed up to take another gold for Dominica in the Bocce doubles segment. Claudius Shipley and Crispin Dailey both secured 2nd place while Ricky Barry came 5th, in their respective 100M heats.
“We are extremely delighted and we are happy to see so many people came to welcome us,” Irish said. .”Special Olympics is about a movement, not just an event and we have to work with the people that are determined to succeed.”
He added, “My athletes lived up to the expectations. My coaches and the entire delegation worked together and we have placed Dominica back again on the map in terms of sports.”
Irish said he was “extremely happy that Dominicans understand the importance of working with our people and today is really a signal honour that persons understand the importance of Olympics.”
He called on the Dominican public to understand that these persons are challenged and despite their disability, they have the ability to succeed, “so we need to work with them to ensure that we can put them on the horizon as they have done in the international circuit.”
Meantime, Chairperson of Special Olympics -Dominica and Digicel Representative, Tyrella Alexander, said the athletes have done well for Dominica.
“We went out there to shine, to conquer and we did as Dominica, as Special Olympics, of course, with the support of many including Digicel,” she stated.“They have gone out there, and did well and we are very proud of them.”
According to Alexander, Digicel has contributed over US$20, 000 to assist the Special Olympics team in their journey towards the World Games in Abu Dhabi.
“We are so proud of their achievement. They put their best foot forward and they have come back with medals,” she noted. “We have to continue the movement, the movement of supporting those with intellectual disabilities and helping them to secure their place in the world.”