Further to our recent announcement concerning the death of our athlete Gareth Cowin at the Special Olympic World Winter Games in South Korea, Special Olympics Isle of Man would like to thank all those who have been so supportive at this time of great sadness. In particular the medical team at Asan Medical Centre in Seoul, Special Olympics International and the Games Organising Committee, all of whose staff have provided great help and assistance.
We draw particular attention to the tributes paid to Gareth by the Special Olympic organisation including on their international website at http://www.specialolympics.org/Stories/General/In_Memory_of_Gareth_Derek_Cowin.aspx
Gareth was one of our most dedicated, enthusiastic and popular athletes whose absence will be sorely missed.
The squad, and Gareth’s Father, are also aware of the tributes paid to Gareth in the Isle of Man. In particular those connected to Gareth’s love of football. We have been overwhelmed by the strength of feeling for Gareth which demonstrates just how popular and loved he was.
We have great pride in the squad in Korea who have gone on to success in the games which we dedicate to Gareth’s memory.
We have been informed that the condition suffered by Gareth was not contagious and there is no threat to any other members of the squad.
Nevertheless we have taken all necessary precautions to protect the health of our athletes, including the screening of all athletes, and can report that all are fit and well. Gareth’s family were informed at an early stage and offered assistance with travel to Korea. Gareth’s Father Kevin was present at the time of death. All other families were contacted both before and after Gareth passed away.
Contrary to certain recent reports in the media, Special Olympics Isle of Man has never used the term “deadly virus” to describe Gareth’s condition.
The cause of Gareth’s death was refractory septic shock leading to multiple organ failure.
We ask that all respect the privacy of Gareth’s family at this particularly sad and difficult time.
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