Jersey Special Gymnasts Travel to Special Olympics in LA

The 3 coaches were delighted with their team of 9 gymnasts, their total medal tally was 22 golds, 13 silvers and 11 Bronze.

James Lang, Eloise Clyde-Smith and their coach Yana Vibert attended the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles as part of the 170 strong GB Team from the 20th July to the 4th August.The games is for sportsmen and women that have an intellectual disability. It is held every 4 years and was the biggest sporting event to be held in the world this year. There were 6,500 athletes, 2,000 coaches representing 165 countries in 26 sports with 30,000 volunteers and over 50,000 spectators.

James and Eloise competed in Artistic Gymnastics. Both gymnasts were outstanding and excelled all expectations. James had a fantastic competition getting into the top division for every piece with a set of fantastic scores. He has returned as Level 3 – World Champion winning 6 gold and 1 silver medal. Eloise was in a very large group with 36 girls competing at her level, but she managed to remain focused and qualified in the top groups. She has come back as Level 1 – World Champion for Uneven Bars, 2nd on Beam and 4th Overall, with a 6th place on Floor and 7th on Vault.

When the squad arrived in LA they went to their Host Town of Calabasas where all the British athletes stayed at the “Gillette Ranch”, we had a few days of training and were treated to some cultural events within the city and had a fantastic welcome by all of the locals.

On the 25th July everyone that was participating attended the Opening Ceremony in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to be greeted by a crowd of over 60,000 spectators. Performing were Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne and The games were opened by Michelle Obama. Once in LA the gymnasts were based within the fantastic UCLA Campus and the competition was held within the John Wooden Centre. The venue provided us with a fantastic warm up gym and a brilliant venue that was packed full with over 3000 spectators every day creating an amazing atmosphere.