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Sports Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM


Bahamian Wins 2 Gold, 1 Silver at Special Olympics World Summer Games
By fusion communications
Sep 15, 2015 - 11:04:27 AM

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The Winning Throw – Denair Rolle secured three medals for team Bahamas at the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Los Angeles from July 25 to August 2. He is pictured delivering the winning throw to claim gold in the Soft Ball Throw. He also won a gold medal in the Standing Long Jump and a silver medal in the 100 Meter walk. Denair was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 10. He was one of 23 Bahamian athletes with intellectual disabilities who participated in the games. (Photo: Special Olympics Bahamas)

Nassau, Bahamas – With the cheers of thousands of spectators spurring him on and the claps of his coach encouraging him, twenty-one year old Denair Rolle delivered the winning throw that sealed his gold medal win in the Softball Throw at the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles from July 25 to August 2.

The medal was one of three that he would claim for team Bahamas, securing a gold medal in the Standing Long Jump and a silver medal in the 100 Meter walk as well.

“I felt happy, brave and encouraged,” said Denair, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the age of 10.

His success at the international games is a result of months of training. “We found out about the Special Olympics in January, and he started preparing between February and March, said Deanna Rolle, Denair’s mother. “He started doing his walking every day, and then he would lift weights. We live on a dead end, so he practiced at home, up and down, walking laps like clockwork.”

Offering advice to other parents of children with ASD, Mrs. Rolle asserts that the key to success is encouragement.

“The sky is the limit. Let them try whatever they want to try. Don’t forget to say how proud you are because everything they accomplish deserves a celebration, no matter how small it is,” stated Mrs. Rolle.

Denair and his mother are members of REACH, a local nonprofit that provides support for persons with ASD and other related challenges.

“We are incredibly proud of Denair and all that he’s accomplished,” said Rickcardo Miller, Acting President of REACH. “Events that promote inclusion are crucial for persons affected with autism and related disorders. When a child feels accomplished, it builds self-esteem and self-worth. It’s great to see them gain that satisfaction from hard work.”

Denair was one of 23 Bahamians to compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games. The contingent captured a total of 25 medals – 11 gold, 10 silver and 4 bronze.

The Special Olympics has been providing an opportunity for those with intellectual disabilities to showcase their talents in sports for 47 years. This year, more than 6,500 athletes from 165 countries competed in 25 Olympic-type sports.

“Every chance we get, we put his medals on him, and he looks forward to that,” stated Mrs. Rolle.

Denair already has plans to compete in the 2016 Special Olympics World games.

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