Day 5 Highlights

Day 5 Highlights

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Abundance of medals and high visits on this lovely day!

Thursday 18 September, 2014 — Host Belgium is the leading delegation in the medal classification of the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games with a tally of 260 medals of which 100 are gold. The performance of runner Evy Ploegaerts in the 1500 meters competition saw the100th gold medal go to Belgium. Special Olympics cyclists today had the pleasure to meet professional Belgian rider, Johan Vansummeren, who came to support the Special Olympics athletes.

Mieke De Mot, ambassador of the Belgian delegation opened the Belgium medal tally by winning gold medal in the 400 meters freestyle swimming. By now Belgium has won 25 gold medals in swimming, 21 in athletics, 46 in badminton, 6 in bocce, and 2 in cycling. with Evy Ploegaerts taking the 100th medal. So far, Belgium has collected 68 silver medals and 98 bronze medals.

Johan Vansummeren at Balendijk

After the visit of Eddy Merckx and Paul Van Himst yesterday, it was Johan Vansummeren’s turn today to pay a visit to the riders in Balendijk (Lommel), and present medals. The Belgian professional cyclist took time out of his training for next week’s World Championship in Spain. It is the first time that I have attended a Special Olympics competition, thanks to my spouse!  There is little difference with regular competitions that I take part in. I am particularly moved by the motivation and enthusiasm of the athletes,” says Johan Vansummeren.

At the gourmet table ...

Today, the maître chocolatier Dominique Persoone was the cooking guest in the ‘Unified cooking’ restaurant  in the “Olympic Town” and prepared a tasty lunch together with the students with an intellectual disability from the Emmäus  institute  and the  Stedelijk Lyceum in Merksem.’This is a fantastic initiative. It was a pleasure for me to work with this group today and to learn how to create a relationship with them. We started early this morning and we have done all the work together. Everyone is motivated, and that is really heart warming!”

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