Two members of Sutton’s Lammas Ice Skating Club have been selected to be part of the 21-strong Special Olympics GB squad for the World Winter Games in Austria next year.
Meg McFarlane and Callum Mills will be part of the the team of athletes with intellectual (learning) disabilities, which will feature 11 Alpine skiers and 10 figure skaters.
The Special Olympics World Winter Games is one of the biggest events in the movement’s global calendar and held every four years, and this will be the first GB has sent a team to the Winter Games.
This sporting showpiece event will be held in Austria in March - commencing with a spectacular opening ceremony on March 18.
It is the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event in 2017 and will be helped to be hosted by Hollywood star - the world’s most famous Austrian and honorary president of the Games - Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Graz and Schladming in the Styria region of Austria will host the competition as Austria welcomes almost 3,000 Special Olympics athletes from 110 nations to compete in nine Olympic-type winter sports.
The Games returns to Austria, the location of the fifth Special Olympics World Winter Games in 1993 in Salzburg and Schladming, when around 1,600 athletes from 63 nations competed in five sports in those Games, which were the first World Games held outside the United States.
Tim Shriver, global chairman of Special Olympics, said: “Austria was the first country outside the US to host a Special Olympics World Games and helped us show the world the gifts and talents of our Special Olympics athletes.
“It is fitting that we would return to a country that has demonstrated its commitment to people with intellectual disabilities for decades and will embrace our athletes from around the world.”