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Local athlete brings home medals from Special Olympics

July 5, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Local athlete, Yazmine Wilson-Daponte, attended the Special Olympics School Championships in Chatham-Kent from June 11 to 12 and brought home six medals.

Yazmine was one of two athletes representing Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School.

Aszzura Barnett represented the school as a Unified Athlete. Unified athletes attend and compete alongside Special Olympics athletes and assist as coaches and athletic companions.

The event was hosted by the City of Chatham-Kent and the Chatham-Kent Police Service. Over 500 athletes competed in track and field events, floorball, bocce, basketball and soccer.

Around 206 coaches accompanied their athletes to the competition.

The event started with opening ceremonies and concluded with closing ceremonies and an athlete dance. In between, there was a lot of good competition at various venues around Chatham-Kent.

Yazmine has been competing in the Special Olympics since she was 10 and started representing her school when she was 13.

She’s trained hard to compete and her dedication has paid off. 

“I really liked the opening and closing ceremonies,” Yazmine said of how much she enjoyed the whole experience. “There was a fun dance on the last day with a live band and the theme was ‘neon’, so everyone wore neon colours. I really liked the bagpipes at the opening ceremonies.”

Fun aside, there was a lot of dedication and competition once individual sports got underway.

Yazmine had a good showing.

She came in first in the 200m dash, and second in the 100m dash. In shotput, she achieved the silver medal.

Yasmine placed third in the standing long jump, and second in the 4x100m relay.

She capped off the competition coming in third in the Unified Challenge.

Yazmine is already getting ready for next year’s competition which will take place in Ottawa.

She said she has to continue working hard to be ready for the next event. 

“I want to go next year to Ottawa,” Yazmine said. “I have to keep training so I can qualify.”

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