Successful Tasmanian athletes return from Athens

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Tasmanian athletes have returned covered in glory from participating in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

The team won six gold, two silver and three bronze medals, a worthy part of the 131-strong Australian team that won 46 gold, 43 silver and 32 bronze medals overall in the competition.

Minister for human services Cassy O’Connor warmly congratulated the athletes and the dedicated coaching staff who had participated in this major sporting event.

“The Tasmanian athletes have proudly represented their country and we honour their enthusiasm, athleticism and achievements,” Ms O’Connor said.

She also paid tribute to the families, carers and supporters who also contributed to the success of the games team.

Tasmania sent ten competitors to what is the biggest sporting event in the world in 2011, with approximately 7,500 athletes competing from 185 countries.

Double gold medallist tennis player Kelly Binns told the ABC it was an experience she will never forget.

“Memorable, just great, just meeting everyone from the other countries, it’s huge. It’s very nerve-wracking sometimes, it’s right up there.”

Ms O’Casey encouraged Tasmanians to watch the performances online – via YouTube, Facebook links or on the official Special Olympics website.

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