GDSO Coach Donna Edwards, GDSO Athlete Catherine Partlow Shine at World Games

posted Aug 3, 2015, 5:30 PM by Communications Greater Durham   [ updated Aug 3, 2015, 5:32 PM ]

Greater Durham Special Olympics were well represented at the World Special Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Coach Donna Edwards and Canada’s rhythmic gymnastics team collected 14 gold medals and 28 medals overall, while Catherine Partlow earned three gold medals in athletics.

Even for a seasoned coach like Edwards, the experience was surreal.

Preparing the athletes for the unexpected was the challenge,” Edwards said. “Coaches have to be prepared to handle anything. More than anything else, it’s important that are athletes are having fun at the World Games, as this is an awesome experience.”

Despite no GDSO rhythmic gymnastics athletes qualifying for the World Games this year, Edwards is positive that the 28 gymnasts from Durham are maximizing their efforts for their next competition.

“We are getting new routines just after the games and all our athletes and coaches are looking forward to seeing them. I attended a work shop for the new routines here in Los Angeles and looking forward to have our athletes implement these.”

While Edwards volunteers as a coach and teaches her athletes everything she can, she admits that the teaching goes both ways. Often times, it is the coach who learns from her pupils.

“I have the most respect for our athletes. They train hard. They also just keep you grounded and keep things in perspective. I have learned from them how to handle many difficult situations.  It is because of them, I continue to volunteer as a coach.”

Partlow meanwhile finished first in the 100 metre, 200 metres and 4x400 relay.

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