Special Olympic medal joy for gymnastic pair

Eddie Horn and Katie Whittaker with their coach, Amanda Wrennall,  in front of the Olympic torch.
Eddie Horn and Katie Whittaker with their coach, Amanda Wrennall, in front of the Olympic torch.

A young Garstang gymnast is celebrating after picking up a gold medal at the Special Olympics GB National Games.

Eddie Horn won gold in the bar routine and was also awarded bronze medals in three other disciplines to pick up the all-round bronze in his group.

Ten-year-old Eddie, a member of the Garstang School of Gymnastics, travelled with fellow club member Katie Whittaker to Bath in order to represent the north-west in the three-day competition.

The pair were among 1,700 athletes with intellectual disabilities from across the UK to take part in a range of sporting events.

Katie, 12, was competing for the first time in the 12-15 age category and put on an impressive display in her four events, winning the bronze medal in the vault.

Katie’s mum, Helen, said the enthusiastic pair had enjoyed the experience. She said: “Eddie and Katie were really encouraged by the family and friends who went to Bath to support them.

“The atmosphere at the Special Olympic Games is unlike any other sporting event, with a level of sportsmanship and mutual support that is hard to match.

“Eddie was delighted with his success.

“Katie also performed extremely well and achieved a bronze medal in the vault.

“She turned 12 just two weeks before the competition began and competed for the first time in the 12-15 age group, in which the level of competition was of a very high standard.”

The three-day competition is described by organisers as the “games with the biggest smile”.

The games have been running since 1978 and every four years those selected get to test themselves against competitors from every region of Great Britain.

Special Olympics GB supports 8,000 of the UK’s estimated 1.2 million people with intellectual disabilities and helps run 150 clubs nationwide.