Gympie stars join Australian team

THERE'S no denying the sporting talent in Gympie following the selection of four athletes and one official to attend the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Greece next year.

The major event, comparable to the Summer Olympics both in size and scope, will take place in Athens between June 25-July 4.

In total, 130 Australian athletes have been chosen and of those, Gympie is well represented.

In athletics, Kimberly Langton and Michelle Cotter have been selected.

Meanwhile, Stephen O'May has made the grade for Ten Pin Bowling while Elijah Bond has been offered to join the Australian Football 11-a-side team.

Gympie Gymnastics official Natalie Upshall has been selected as assistant coach of the Australian Gymnastics Team.

The selections were announced on June 18 and the Australian team will be finalised as athletes and officials confirm their acceptances by post.

The Special Olympics World Games will attract as many athletes from a total of countries similar to the Olympic Games – if not, more.

Overall, 7500 Special Olympics athletes from all reaches of the globe will take part in 22 Olympic-type sports in Athens.

Making it all possible will be a staggering 25,000 volunteers.

Special Olympics Australia outlined the importance of the event by saying “the Games offer a global platform to showcase the Special Olympics movement and to celebrate the abilities and accomplishments of people with an intellectual disability”.

Gympie athletes made the Australian team earlier this year after attracting the eye of selectors while competing at the National Special Olympics Games in Perth, representing Queensland.

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