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Belize Special Olympics Team victorious despite journey challenges

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 29, 2023

On Tuesday, June 27, the Belize Special Olympics team returned home from a successful showing at the Special Olympics Games, where they won a collection of silver and bronze medals.

The Games, which were held from the 17th to the 25th of June, took place in Berlin, Germany, and offered a unique opportunity for students from across the world, with or without disabilities, to compete in a range of sports.

Approximately 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from around 190 different countries attended the games.

Belize’s team consisted of Tiwannie Laurie, Kadine Thomas, Barrington Gentle, Laurie Pascasio, and Annaliese Pascasio, and they won silver in adult female bocce, bronze in female unified bocce, and silver in male unified bocce. There were also 2 chaperones who accompanied them.

Unfortunately, their trip back home was not as smooth as their performance at the games. The team faced some unexpected challenges during their return journey. Initially, the team was scheduled to fly directly back to Belize City; however, due to unforeseen circumstances their flight was rerouted, forcing them to land in Cancun instead.

With no Tropic Air flights available to take them home, the athletes had to adjust their plans. Unfazed by this disruption, the team quickly arranged to take a bus to Chetumal. This unexpected journey by road lengthened their travel time considerably. At Chetumal they got on a bus sent from Belize City, to bring them home. Despite the long journey, the team made it back to the city around 11:00 p.m., marking the end of their lengthy travel day.

Demonstrating the same resilience they exhibited on the playing field, the team was ready to attend their graduation ceremony the next morning, as they marked off yet another accomplishment, graduating from Stella Maris School.

We reached out to both the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Special Olympics for an interview, but to press time they had not responded.

For now, plans for a celebratory motorcade throughout the city in their honor are scheduled to take place on Friday, June 30, 2023.

The route is scheduled to commence on the Philip Goldson Highway, and from there it will go to Central American Boulevard – Cemetery Road – Orange Street – Albert Street – Regent Street – Water Lane – Alexandria Street – Vernon Street – Youth for the Future Drive – North Front Street – Queen Street – New Road – Douglas Jones Street – Freetown Road – Princess Margaret Drive, and end at the Stella Maris School.

Congratulations to our Belize Special Olympics Team 2023!