Disability | Scots Shine at Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023
Three gymnasts from City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club have excelled at the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.
Amy Clark, Craig McGarrity and Emma Thomson came home laden with medals from the nine-day global event which took place between Saturday 17 and Sunday 25 June.
Artistic and rhythmic gymnastics featured among the 26 sports contested in the German city which welcomed 7000 Special Olympics athletes and partners from 190 countries, supported by more than 3000 coaches and 20,000 volunteers.
Amy Clark set the tone for the whole event as Team Special Olympics GB’s first medalist, when she struck gold in the rhythmic event to become level 4 all-around champion with a total score of 39.300.
She followed that with more medals in the apparatus finals over the next two days, silver in clubs (10.788), and bronze for her ribbon routine (10.037), also earning fourth and fifth ribbons for ball and hoop respectively.
Joining Daisy Chetwood, Ellie Bea Thomas and Poppy Wood Wright, Amy won silver in the group floor exercise for Great Britain to cap off her third World Games in style.
Attention then turned to artistic gymnastics and Craig McGarrity had an outstanding competition, coming home with medals for every event, including silver in the level 3 men’s all-round competition with a total score of 84.225.
Craig won medals in all six apparatus finals, finishing unbeaten on parallel bars to become champion (12.637), with a further five silvers, for floor (15.037), horizonal bar (12.875), pommel horse (12.063), rings (11.862), and vault (19.700).
Emma Thomson was also rewarded for her dedication in the gym, when she too won medals every time she competed in the women’s artistic event. The City of Glasgow gymnast’s total score of 64.100 earned the silver medal in the level four all-around.
In the apparatus finals, Emma shone brightest of all on the beam and floor to become champion, with totals of 17.625 and 19.150 respectively. She completed her collection of medals with bronze on vault (10.438) and on uneven bars (16.887).
Angela Turner, chair of British Gymnastics’ disability committee, was there to witness the successful weekend of artistic gymnastics as part of the FIG ParaGymnastics working group. Coach Amy Meiklem was also part of the team and was understandably elated after the Games. She said:
“The performances put out with the pressure of the world stage by these three gymnasts blew me away. The drive and growth in them not only in the sport but personally has been a pleasure to watch and be a part of. We have gained memories and friendships that will never be forgotten all thanks to the opportunity through sport.”
Congratulations to the team on such a successful World Games, and to City of Glasgow and all their supporters. Events like the Special Olympics World Games highlight how our sport can be inclusive, supportive and aspirational.