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City gymnast warms up for Olympic entry

Published Thursday, 07 March 2019

A Coventry gymnast is warming up to compete in the World Special Olympic Summer Games, representing Team GB.

Emily Crilly preparing for the World Special Olympic Summer Games 
and Group picture: Left to right -  Nuala Cooper, Shona O'Keeffe, Emily Crilly, AJ Marston, Holly Riseborough at the Coventry Empire Gymnastics Club
Emily Crilly preparing for the World Special Olympic Summer Games and Group picture: Left to right - Nuala Cooper, Shona O'Keeffe, Emily Crilly, AJ Marston, Holly Riseborough at the Coventry Empire Gymnastics Club

Emily Crilly, aged 21, has Downs Syndrome and is partially sighted. The Olympic selection process was the first competition that Emily had to apply for selection for, and she, her family and her club were thrilled at her successful entry.

Emily has been training in gymnastics since the age of seven, scooping up a number of medals in competitions along the way.

Speaking about her entry into the global competition, Emily said she is quite excited but a little bit nervous. She added that she knows that she’s going to try her very best during her performances.

Peter Riseborough, Emily’s coach at the Coventry Empire Gymnastics Club, said: “Emily's participation in the World Games in Abu Dhabi is just reward for all the hard work she has put into gymnastics for over 10 years. Emily always gives 100% and whilst she enjoys giving solo performances she is very much a team player with her infectious enthusiasm and dedication fully endorsing the ethos and spirit of Special Olympics.

“Emily trains on Saturday and Sunday morning honing her skills on all four pieces of apparatus. Although floor is her favourite piece, Emily's persistence and tenacity on the beam, vault and bars means she is a great all around performer.”

The World Special Olympic Summer Games will be held from Thursday 14 – Thursday 21 March in Abu Dhabi.

Cllr Kamran Caan, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, said: “Emily has done brilliantly to be selected to represent Team GB, and I am thrilled that we have a Coventry athlete representing the nation at an international level, especially during our year as City of Sport.

“I’ll be backing Emily all the way as she competes in the Special Olympics and I know that she’ll have the support of the entire city when she competes as well.”

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