Skaters cannot wait for Special Olympics

Joanne Cowley just wants to do her best at the Special Olympics.

NORTHGATE – Scores of ice skaters converged on the Northgate Ice Rink to prepare for the upcoming Special Olympics in Austria.

About 25 athletes are heading to the Special Olympics World Winter Games for floor hockey, short speed skating and figure skating. Several figure skaters are from Casa do Sol School in Linden, Logwood Village in Nooitgedacht and The Hamlet in Regents Park.

“If I don’t get a gold medal I just want to have fun,” said Tyrell Sykes (17) of Casa do Sol, who added that it was a dream for him to travel the world.

While practising her dance, Joanne Cowley of Logwood said her only goal was to do her best.

Kevin Gibbs and Caroline Mignolet of The Hamlet have known each other for 28 years and recently became engaged. Both are super excited to compete for medals in figure skating.

“What I hope for is joy and maybe a gold medal,” Gibbs smiled.


Teboho Makhamele (15) of Casa do Sol gave this message of hope, “If you are a youngster and think there is nothing you can do in your future, you are wrong. There is something, you just have to find it.”

Special Olympics South Africa marketing and communications officer Zanele Ngwenya said the team would depart on 13 March, with a farewell at the Midrand Conference Centre and OR Tambo International Airport.

The teams will compete from 18 to 24 March.

Read: Skaters hope to go to Austria

Ngwenya said all the gold medallists names in each ability level from the 2016 National Winter Games, were placed in a random draw for who would compete at the Special Olympics.

“This system was created by the athletes of the Special Olympics because they felt it would give all athletes with different ability levels the opportunity to compete on a global stage,” she explained.

She appealed to the public to help the national team reach their dream.

“We have an SMS line running for people to donate funds. They can SMS GAMES to 40131 and R20 will be donated towards the national team.”

Details: Special Olympics South Africa 011 706 3323.

You can also read: GALLERY: Randburg’s need for speed 

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Phathu Luvhengo & Nicholas Zaal

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