Castle Douglas athlete wins gold at Special Olympics

  • Watch as Sean returns home with a gold medal

Athlete Sean Allan has returned home to Castle Douglas with a gold medal after competing in the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin.

Allan was one of 82 athletes representing GB across 17 sports.

The event was the world's largest inclusive sporting event in 2023 with more than 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities competing across 26 sports over nine days.

Speaking on his return, Sean said: "I never expected to win a gold medal so I was really chuffed to win one.

"I was expecting them to put up more of a fight but it turns out it was more the other way around so at least it helped in my favour."

Sean's foster dad Adam Mitchell spoke of the delight everyone has with Sean's achievement.

He said: "He did so well. I'm just so happy that he did this. I was happy that he became an Olympian. But to actually come and get a gold medal was superb.

"We're going to get it framed or something like that and have all these pictures about it. And then Sean can see it every day forever.

"It was fantastic. We weren't sure how Sean would do really, if he might freeze because of all the people that were there because it was absolutely packed out but he did exactly what Luke always trained him to do, which is to go out and fight and do well, and he was brilliant."

Sean won gold by taking down each opponent in less than 10 seconds, something that delighted his coach Luke Struthers.

He said: "I expected him to do well I didn't expect him to be quite so quick but no he did really well he was very focused and just went out and did what he had to do."

Sean's foster mum, Lucy Mitchell, says that judo has transformed Sean's life.

She said: "Just the confidence, a thing, the confidence that he's gained through judo and the control of his emotions and how he feels and his friendships.

"The friendships in the judo club are just fantastic. And he's very much one of the crowd that's there."

The event was the first time the Special Olympics has been held in Germany.

Colin Dyer, CEO of Special Olympics GB, said: "We are absolutely thrilled for Sean. This is a remarkable achievement, from an exceptional athlete and person.

"Each one of our competitors has defied all odds to partake in these games and to come away with a medal caps a monumental accomplishment. They have undoubtedly brought immense pride to themselves, their family and their nation."

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