Wednesday 19 September 2018

Games helping 'change lives' as 1,600 turn out for Olympics

Zach O’Riordan from St. Paul’s School in Montenotte Co Cork at the Special Olympics in Blanchardstown. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Zach O’Riordan from St. Paul’s School in Montenotte Co Cork at the Special Olympics in Blanchardstown. Photo: Justin Farrelly

Laura Lynott

Doctors never expected Zach O'Riordan to walk, let alone take part in a global sporting event.

Zach was born with global developmental delay and could barely lift his neck up. But thanks to the Special Olympics Motor Activity Training Programme, the schoolboy (11) is taking major steps and was presented with a medal for achievement at the Special Olympic Games. "Sport has changed his life," father Donal said.

Meanwhile, Darius Lhota (6) travelled from Queensland, Australia, to see his uncle Stuart McCarthy (28), who has Down syndrome, take part in the Games in basketball.

Former Ireland rugby star Keith Wood, patron of the Special Olympics Ireland, said: "The Games gives the athletes a sense of purpose to take part in a national sporting event."

Special Olympics Ireland will run until Sunday, with 1,600 athletes competing.

Darius Lhota (6), from Townsville, Australia, who came over especially to watch his uncle Stuart McCarthy (28), left, compete.
Photo: Justin Farrelly
Darius Lhota (6), from Townsville, Australia, who came over especially to watch his uncle Stuart McCarthy (28), left, compete. Photo: Justin Farrelly

Irish Independent

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