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Geelong gymnast Patrick Forssman has triumphed at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, winning a Silver Medal in the Men’s Level 2 Gymnastics competition.
Patrick is a gymnast at Aerosport Allstars Gymnastics in Geelong and is one of 105 athletes who was selected to represent Australia at the World Games. He is one of only 6 gymnasts chosen to represent the country, and the only representative from Victoria.
Patrick competed against eleven other gymnasts in his division on multiple gymnastics apparatus, including Floor, Pommel, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and High Bar. Patrick placed third on Floor and Rings, second on Parallel Bar and High Bar and first on Pommel and Vault, resulting in second place all around.
The Special Olympics World Games were first held in 1968, and aim to showcase the skills of sporting abilities of people with an intellectual disability. This is the first year that the event has been held in the Middle East North Africa since the movement’s founding over 50 years ago.
Patrick has been involved in gymnastics for the past 10 years, competing both at a state level at the Victorian Championships as well as nationally at the Special Olympic National Games.
Proud parents Jenny and Fred Forssman travelled to Abu Dhabi to cheer Patrick on throughout the competition, and couldn’t keep the smiles off their faces when he walked up onto the podium to receive his medal.
“For all those people who knew Patrick when he first started gymnastics, who would have thought that this could be possible!” said Fred.
Patrick has made incredible strides in both his physical fitness and social capabilities as a result of participating in gymnastics.
According to mother Jenny, Patrick is at the peak of his physical fitness and was as prepared as he could possibly be for his performance at the World Games.
April Wilson is the Inclusion and Programs Manager at Gymnastics Victoria and was thrilled to hear the news from Abu Dhabi early on Sunday morning.
"Patrick has worked so hard to reach this level of competition, particularly during the past few months, and both he and his family should be incredibly proud. The outpouring of support from the Victorian Gymnastics community has been overwhelming and it is terrific to see our Special Olympics Gymnasts recognised and celebrated for their achievements," said April.
You’ll be able to see Patrick in action when he competes at the Victorian Championships at Geelong Arena on Sunday 14 April.