South African women are slaying at the Special Olympics Winter Games

Bianca Basson, Thato Serepedi, Joanne Crowley and Caroline Mignolet are four South African athletes slaying in the figure-skating competition at the Special Olympics, which is currently taking place in Austria. Basson took the gold while Mignolet won silver. Serepedi and Crowley both took bronze in their competitions.

Here is Caroline Mignolet receiving her silver medal for Figure Skating.

Joanne Crowley, another figure skater for Team SA receives her bronze medal at the Games.

“I’m thrilled for my skaters, I just wanted them to get out there and perform and wow, four medals is awesome – awesome!” said Glena Slabbert, Basson’s coach.

The Special Olympics is a sports organisation for people with intellectual disabilities that involves more than 4.7 million athletes from 169 countries. It is a non-profit organisation which aims to be the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. It provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The organisation hosts many different events around the world including in places like Latin America and Africa.

The World Winter Olympics began on 14 March and is currently taking place in the Austrian towns of Graz, Schladming and Ramsau. It concludes on Saturday, 25 March. More than 2 700 athletes are competing at the Games, over 800 of them female. This is the highest number of female athletes ever to compete in the Winter Special Olympics.

Team South Africa is being represented in figure skating, speed skating and floor hockey at the Games. Tyrell Skyes took fourth place in figure skating while Kevin Gibbs, another figure skater, took fifth position. The hockey team suffered a narrow 5-4 defeat in the finals against West Canada.

“It was tough, that was a war. Everyone was fighting, everyone was fighting to win the game,” South African head coach, Morongwa Petlo told EWN.

The closing ceremony of the Games will be taking place on 24 March 2017 at the Stadium Graz where the “Flame of Hope”, which was lit at the opening ceremony, will be extinguished.

Featured image via Flickr

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