Special Olympics Isle of Man Athletes got a big surprise when they were invited aboard the Manx registered luxury yacht Emotion while representing the Isle of Man at the Princess Charlene Swimming Event in Monaco.
The four athletes Andrew McGeehan, Ewan Donnell, Luke Seed and Ryan Aitken made the journey along with more than 270 athletes from 25 nations descending on the Principality of Monaco to compete in the first ever HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco Swimming Meet organised by Special Olympics Monaco. The two day meet began on Friday, March 28th with an opening ceremony at the Louis II Stadium in the presence of HSH Princess Charlene. While 24 of the national teams came from across Europe, a special invitation was made to Team South Africa as the country is the birthplace of the Princess.
The Isle of Man team returned home on Sunday laden with 6 medals in total, 3 Gold 1 Silver and 2 bronze.
Special Olympics Isle of Man Director Beryl Wooldridge commented “We arrived at our hotel overlooking one of Monaco’s world famous harbours and noticed an extremely large yacht flying the Manx Ensign, curious we decided to take a closer look. A member of the yachts crew noticed the Manx emblem on the back of our uniforms and arranged for the team to go aboard after the two day swimming event. It really made the trip the extra bit special, the athletes were already on a high with each of them winning medals in their various disciplines, representing people with intellectual disabilities with pride”.