Trio of medal wins for Leeds Special Olympics star

Edward Williams
Edward Williams
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A keen sportsman is celebrating bringing home a gold, silver and a bronze from the Special Olympics European Summer Games in Belgium.

Edward Williams was the only member of Team GB from Leeds – and won gold in the long jump even though he only took up the sport last year.

Edward, who has Down’s syndrome, was taking part in his first European Special Olympics and said he was thrilled at his success.

“I was excited to be picked but a bit nervous as I had never been abroad without my family,” he said.

“The best bits were the opening and closing ceremonies and making new friends and getting the gold medal for my long jump. I was pleased that our relay team got a silver as I was really scared I would drop the baton, but I didn’t.”

Edward, from Armley, Leeds, has been training for around 20 years in a variety of sports.

His mum Kate McCarthy said he had participated in football, swimming, athletics and table tennis and is a veteran at the UK Special Olympics, having been to the games for about 15 years, but had never been to the European games before.

Team GB spotted him at national event, while Pudsey Gateway Club – where he trains – also wrote a supporting statement for him.

“They’ve been very supportive as they run a lot of athletics,” his mum said.

As well as the gold in long jump, Edward also won a bronze in the 100 metres and was part of the silver-winning relay team.

He has been doing extra training at the John Charles Sports Centre in Beeston so was especially pleased with the bronze.

“I love sport and training with all my friends on Tuesdays, the next sport I want to try is cycling,” he said.

“I’m extremely proud and very pleased that he has got this recognition,” his mum added.

Edward’s wins contributed to Team GB’s haul of 103 medals at the games.

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