Gymnast Andrew grabs haul of gold

Andrew McLaughlin with some of his medal haul.
Andrew McLaughlin with some of his medal haul.

A Rasen area gymnast is celebrating after winning a haul of gold medals at a national sporting event.

Andrew McLaughlin was one of 1,700 athletes competing the Special Olympics 2013, held over the weekend in Somerset, and came away with seven medals in all, including overall champion at Level 2 in men’s artistic gymnastics.

The 28-year-old from Glentham gained a silver on the vault and parallel bars, together with golds on high bar, pommel, floor and rings, which earned him the overall gold.

“He put on an impressive performance and was a great ambassador for the sport, encouraging and congratulating others in their performances,” said proud mum Helen.

“Well done Andrew, you made your family and friends very proud of you.”

The Special Olympics saw athletes, coaches, volunteers and sports officials representing 17 regions from across Great Britain come together to put on an exciting sports ‘compendium’ showing off the talents of young people and adults with intellectual difficulties.

Andrew was competing for Yorkshire and Humberside, as that is the nearest Special Olympic training venue for gymnastics.

Now, he is looking to the World Special Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2015 and hopes his performance at this event, together with his previous achievements, will be enough to secure 
him selection.

“Athletes will be informed in January 2014 and if Andrew is lucky enough to be one of them he will need to begin fund raising to cover his costs as there is no funding or sponsorship available for Special Olympic athletes,” added Helen.