Five Delawareans, three athletes, a coach, and a Law Enforcement representative attended the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, held March 14 – 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The athletes from Delaware who competed for Special Olympics USA are Andrew Crout (tennis, Newark), Eddie Joyner (bowling, Middletown) and Patricia Pecora (swimming, Dover). Mary Moore (Wilmington) served in the role of tennis head coach for Team USA and Master Corporal Gary Fournier (Delaware State Police, Felton) represented Delaware in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg.
Crout won bronze medals in both the singles and doubles tennis tournaments.
Pecora was part of the 4×50-meter freestyle relay that won a silver medal. Individually, she won bronze in the 50 free and placed fourth in the 50 back.
Joyner placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the singles and doubles bowling competition.
“We are incredibly proud of all three of our athletes who trained so diligently for the opportunity to represent their country on Special Olympics’ grandest stage,” said Ann Grunert, Special Olympics Delaware executive director. “The experiences they had competing against athletes from other countries is something they’ll never forget, and to do so while visiting an area of the world they might never see again is a memory they’ll have for a lifetime.”
Every two years Special Olympics athletes come together to compete at the World Games, alternating summer and winter sports. The 2019 edition was the largest Special Olympics World Games in history, with an estimated 7,500 athletes from 192 nations competing in 24 Olympic-type sports.
The Special Olympics USA delegation included 215 athletes, 65 coaches, and several delegation members who supported team operations.