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Local athletes selected to participate in the World Games 2015

Special Olympics Ireland Squad and Portraits
By Harry Walsh

TWO Donegal athletes have been selected to compete for Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015.

Letterkenny gynmast Patrick Quinlivan and Buncrana golfer Oliver Doherty are past of the 88-strong the Team Ireland delegation which also includes 40 management/coaches and 200 volunteers.

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Team Ireland athletes will compete in 12 sports: Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Football (5 & 11-a-side), Golf, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Table Tennis.

Oliver Doherty, aged 39, who trains at North West Special Olympics club will be competing in his third games.

Playing golf since he was just ten years old, Oliver who won gold in Dublin in 2003, will be hoping to repeat this amazing feat in a couple of months’ time. Not surprisingly, Oliver is very “proud and happy” that he has been chosen to be part of Team Ireland.

Letterkenny gymnast Patrick Quinlivan has also been selected for the Special Olympics World Games 2015. He is currently training hard at SALTO Special Olympics Club Belfast and North West Special Olympics Letterkenny .

Patrick (32) is absolutely thrilled to hear he had been selected saying; “I was over the moon!”.

Patrick is no stranger to the World Games having tasted victory in North Carolina in 1999, at which he won four gold and two silver medals. He considers this to be the highlight of his time at Special Olympics so far describing the experience as “very special”.

Patrick has been playing football for twenty years at St. Bernadette’s Special School, North West Special Olympics Club and Salto Special Gymnastics Club. Having been involved with Special Olympics doing gymnastics for so many years now Patrick says ; “It is part of me. It is my main interest”. He is currently training very hard daily, alternating sessions between Belfast and Donegal.

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When he’s not doing gymnastics training Patrick spends his time working hard at Aura Leisure Centre, Letterkenny as a Cleaner. Patrick is also a qualified life guard and a coach saying; “I have a Level 1 Coaching Certificate and coach at Letterkenny Community Gymnastics Club every Thursday and Friday”.

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