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Four SA athletes scoop medals at Special Olympics World Winter Games


GRAZ - Four South African athletes have just taken medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

The team dominated the figure skating competition on Tuesday night, taking gold, silver and two bronze.

The Special Olympics boasts 2,700 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 106 countries competing in nine disciplines.

For these World Winter Games, South Africa has athletes competing in floorball, floor hockey, figure and speed skating.

Bianca Basson has taken gold at this year's Special Olympic World Winter Games. Stepping up to the podium, a smile runs across her face as she receives her medal, later throwing her hands into the air in celebration.

This is her best performance ever according to her coach Glena Slabbert. Basson, a usually chatty girl, is strangely quiet, enjoying her moment of glory from her view from the top.

Along with her on the podium is young Thato Serepedi who took bronze in the same division.

Joanne Cowley, standing confidently on the box, bends to receive her bronze medal, a small grin sneaking on to her face momentarily. She raises a pair of upwardly-turned thumbs for the snapping cameras, mouthing something through her smile to a member of the crowd.

Slabbert says it takes months of work to reach this level and she is extremely proud of all her team.

"I'm thrilled for my skaters, I just wanted them to get out there and perform and wow, four medals is awesome-awesome!"

Slabbert says that considering how little time her athletes have on the ice, they exceeded all expectation.

"They only have an hour a week these skaters, compared to other countries that might have two to three hours a week they've done brilliantly, they've outdone themselves."

This year was one for women as all those who competed from South Africa took a medal.

WATCH: SA takes gold, silver and two bronze at Special Olympics

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