Maltese Athletes to Compete in Special Olympics World Games 2015 in Los Angeles

22 athletes from six different disciplines will be representing Malta in the Special Olympics World Games which are taking place in Los Angeles between the 25th July and the 2nd August. Malta will be competing in Athletics, Aquatics, Bowling, Bocce, Gymnastics and Table Tennis. The Maltese delegation includes 12 coaches, an assistant Head of Delegation, Elaine Bonnici and Anna Calleja, as Head of Delegation and National Director of Special Olympics Malta for the past 15 years. Mrs Michelle Muscat is Honorary President of the Maltese team.

 

The Opening Ceremony of the World Games will take place on Saturday, July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum. The star-studded show will celebrate the true stars of the Games – the athletes of Special Olympics and will include entertainment, the Parade of Athletes and the culmination of the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron. The ceremony will be broadcast internationally by ESPN. Headlining artists include Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, O.A.R., Cody Simpson, and Nicole Scherzinger. The show will be directed by Emmy Award Winner, Debbie Allen and includes appearances by Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps and many more.

 

Los Angeles will be hosting 7000 Special Olympics athletes and 3000 coaches from over 170 countries in these World Games. Some of the Maltese athletes competing in Los Angeles have already participated and won various medals in the last World Games which were held in Athens, Greece in 2011. These include sister and brother Annemarie and Matthew Bugeja, who won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in artistic gymnastics; Shanaia Xuereb, Charmaine Mifsud and Matthias Attard who won Gold and Silver medals in aquatics; Sarah Caruana, Jessica Dalli and Naomi Axisa who won Silver medals in athletics; Philip Gruppetta and Natasha Bianchi who won Gold and Bronze medals in Bowling; and Yowanna Vassallo and Mark Agius who won Bronze medals in Bocce. During last year’s European Games in Antwerp, Belgium the Maltese team garnered 17 Gold, 16 Silver and 13 Bronze medals.

 

The aim of the Special Olympics World Games is to create awareness that leads to the acceptance and inclusion of all people with intellectual disabilities – and ultimately to the acceptance of all people with differences. Special Olympics were founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968.

 

The Special Olympics athlete oath states, ‘Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’

 

For more information about the Special Olympics World Games 2015 log on to www.la2015.org, for updates on the Maltese team, follow Special Olympics Malta on Facebook.

 

The Special Olympics Malta Athletes competing in the World Games 2015 in Los Angeles are:

Athletics – Athletes

Alec Falzon 12 50M Run

Softball Throw

Adam Pisani 17 100M Run

200M Run

Relay 4 x 100M

Johnny Mamo 19 100M

Long Jump

Relay 4 x 100M

Charlene Magro 23 100M Walk

Standing Long Jump

Jessica Dalli 17 100M Run

Long Jump

Relay 4 x 100M

Sarah Caruana 23 100M Run

200M Run

Naomi Axisa 20 100M Run

200M Run

Relay 4 x 100M

Athletics – Coaches

Grace Micallef Head Coach
Amanda Dimech Assistant Coach
Maria Zammit Assistant Coach

 

Aquatics – Athletes

Matthias Attard 19 800M Freestyle

1500 Open Water

4 x 50M Freestyle Relay

Jonathan Borg 27 800M Freestyle

1500 Open Water

4 x 50M Freestyle Relay

Charmaine Mifsud 22 100M Breaststroke

200M Breaststroke

4 x 50M Freestyle Relay

Shanaia Xuereb 19 800M Freestyle

1500 Open Water

4 x 50M Freestyle Relay

Klara Zammit 20 400M Freestyle

800M Freestyle

1500m  Freestyle

Aquatics – Coaches

Erica Andolfi Head Coach
Christabel D’Amato Assistant Coach
Joyce Orland Assistant Coach

Gymnastics – Athletes

Annemarie Bugeja 13 Floor Exercise

Uneven Bars

Vault

Balance Beam

All Around

Natalie Galea 33 Floor Exercise

Uneven Bars

Vault

Balance Beam

All Around

Matthew Bugeja 16 Floor Exercise

Pommel Horse

Rings

Vault

Horizontal Bars

Parallel Bars

All Around

Enrique Xerry 13 Floor Exercise

Pommel Horse

Rings

Vault

Horizontal Bars

Parallel Bars

All Around

Gymnastics – Coaches

Elaine Genovese Head Coach
Mary Zahra Assistant Coach

Bocce – Athletes

Yowanna Vassallo 27 Singles

Doubles

Mark Agius 31 Singles

Doubles

 

Bocce- Coach

Odette Chetcuti Head Coach

Table Tennis – Athletes

Christabel Borg 16 Singles

Mixed Doubles

Warren Schembri 18 Singles

Mixed Doubles

Table Tennis – Coaches

Johanna Grech Head Coach

Bowling – Athletes

Natasha Bianchi 32 Singles

Doubles

Philip Gruppetta 20 Singles

Doubles

Bowling – Coaches

Mark Spiteri Head Coach
Anna Farrugia Assistant Coach