Special Olympics USA Games gold medalist and subject of one of this year’s most inspirational videos, Ashton Smith, is heading to Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics World Games in March 2019. Smith won gold in the 100-meter butterfly high-performance division and silver in the 100-meter freestyle high-performance division in USA Games in July 2018.
The 32-year-old began swimming in 1995 and continues to be active in track and field, and football. Smith will be one of 7,000 athletes from 170 countries competing in 24 sports March 14-21, 2019 in multiple venues around Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Gratitude to Represent the US
“I’m so thankful that I have been selected,” Smith said. Though she focused on butterfly and freestyle at the USA Games, if offered, she is hoping to be racing the 200 IM – her favorite event. Smith will continue her training in Forth Worth, TX and is looking forward to the National Training Camp at the University of Delaware in September 2018.
Smith said she is “grateful for what the Special Olympics have done” with regard to food, lodging, and training for the World Games. She is working to raise money for transportation to the event through her GoFundMe page.
World’s Largest Humanitarian Sporting Event
The World Games are flagship events for the Special Olympics Movement. They take place every two years and alternate between Summer and Winter Games. The Games can be the world’s largest sporting event of the year. Thousands of athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters attend to see and cheer the skills and accomplishments of people with intellectual disabilities.