MANILA, Philippines – Ringing in August with victory and high hopes, Filipino athletes from all over the country competed in worldwide Olympic sporting events and bagged 21 gold medals, 14 silver medals and 24 bronze medals.
What makes this celebration all the more sweet is that all our athletes are special.
The Special Olympics World Games for 2015 was held from July 25 to August 1 in Los Angeles with 7,000 athletes coming from 177 countries – all of them with varied intellectual disabilities.
The Philippine delegation brought over 35 athletes, with Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao fully represented.
A participant of the Special Olympics since 1991, the Philippines has been training athletes year in and year out. This year’s set of athletes took two 3 years to get to the sporting grounds, ready and qualified.
Out of the 25 sports hosted this year, the Philippines joined athletics, unified football, bowling, powerlifting, aquatics, gymnastics, and badminton.
A story of gold, silver, and bronze
A few days into the events, Tanya Denamarca from Iloilo won the Philippines’ first gold medal for gymnastics. From there, the Philippines filled its treasure trove of medals.
The haul of medals came across the board from gymnastics, swimming, football, track, badminton, and athletics.
In an interview with Asian Journal, Delia Ortega, head of the Philippine delegation and president of the country’s Special Olympics chapter, said that though the Philippines has definitely had its taste of victory in the past, this year saw more gold.
She added, “We’re very happy because those who won gold medals, some of them are first timers in the World Games.”