James Lang and Eloise Clyde-Smith gave outstanding performances at the
Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, with both returning to Jersey as World Champions!
Together with their coach Yana Vibert, the trio were part of the 170 strong Great Britain Team.
James and Eloise competed in Artistic Gymnastics, and both gymnasts exceeded 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 throughout and qualified in the top groups. She has come back as Level 1 World Champion for Uneven Bars, second on Beam and fourth overall, with a sixth place on Floor and seventh on Vault.
Coach Yana was thrilled with these performances. “These two gymnasts both excelled,” she said. “They are wonderful ambassadors for their Island. It was a delight to be able to share in their achievements and I am so proud of them both.”
These games, held every four years, is for sportsmen and women that have an intellectual disability 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.
When the squad arrived in Los Angeles, they went to their Host Town of Calabasas, where all the British athletes stayed at the "Gillette Ranch". They 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 and Avril Lavigne and The Games were opened by Michelle Obama.
Once in Los Angeles the gymnasts were based within the fantastic UCLA Campus and the competition was held within the John Wooden Centre. The venue provided them with a brilliant warm up gym and a venue that was packed full with over 3,000 spectators every day, creating an amazing atmosphere.
The 3 GB coaches were delighted with their team of 9 gymnasts, their total medal tally ended with 22 golds, 13 silvers and 11 Bronze.