MINISTER of Sport Shamfa Cudjoe is expected to greet and address Special Olympics TT’s 44-member delegation, at about 5 pm today, on their return from the Special Olympics International 2019 World Games, in the United Arab Emirates.
Cudjoe will speak at the VIP Lounge at Piarco International Airport and is expected to offer high praise to the 33 athletes, who won a total of 56 medals: 19 gold, 15 silver and 22 bronze. They went up against some 7,500 athletes from every corner of the globe. The Special Olympics TT (SOTT) contingent won medals in every sport they competed in: athletics, equestrian, bocce, power lifting and aquatics.
Their participation ended, on Wednesday, the day before the World Games formally came to an end with a closing ceremony at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Although details are limited, an official from the Ministry of Sport said the organisation is engaged with a sponsor and they are seeking an appropriate way to reward the athletes for their success.
This year’s performance was an improvement from an already outstanding SOTT showing at the 2015 World Games, where they earned 48 medals – 15 gold, nine silver and 24 bronze.
When contacted, TT Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis congratulated the team, volunteers and others who contributed to the team’s success. He went further, heaping praise on SOTT itself.
“SOTT and their volunteers are doing an awesome job,” he said.“Chairperson Candilla Berment-Harper and her team are unsung. They work very hard year-round to ensure, through sports, children and adults with intellectual challenges are respected and given an opportunity to realise their potential.”