As the world watches, two Special Olympics Ohio athletes will join thousands of others at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Garrett Ford of Pataskala and Jabari Wilson of Hilliard are the Ohio athletes chosen for the Special Olympics USA delegation to the Games which will be held March 14-21, 2019.
Garrett “The Hulk” Ford of Pataskala will compete in Powerlifting. At the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games he swept all of his events, winning gold medals in Bench Press, Deadlift, and Overall. Garrett joined Special Olympics Ohio- Licking County in 2015 and has medaled every year, mostly gold. Garrett loves working out and, in his spare time, likes to volunteer at his local community center to help feed people who are homeless.
Jabari Wilson competes in Athletics (Track & Field) and won gold medals at this year’s USA Games for his impressive showings in the Pentathlon and 4×100 Relay events. Jabari has been a part of Special Olympics Ohio-Franklin County (Hilliard) since he was eight years old. While in high school, Jabari ran track and played on the varsity football team. When he’s not working out at the track, Jabari works at his local YMCA.
“This is such an extraordinary opportunity for both Garrett and Jabari,” said Special Olympics Ohio President and CEO Jessica Stewart. “Special Olympics Ohio joins the rest of our great state in cheering them on as shining examples of what the Special Olympics movement represents.”
The Special Olympics USA delegation includes 230 athletes from all over the U.S. These athletes will take on the world in 16 sports at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
About the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be the world’s largest humanitarian and sporting event of 2019 and will feature seven days of competition in 24 sports: Athletics (Track & Field), Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics (Artistic and Rhythmic), Handball, Judo, Kayaking, Open Water Swimming, Powerlifting, Roller Skating, Sailing, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon, and Volleyball. More than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will compete, along with 2,500 coaches and 20,000 volunteers. These will be the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East/North Africa region. In addition to sports competition, the 2019 World Games will feature inspiring non-sports activities and programs, including Unified Sports experiences, free Healthy Athletes screenings, a Global Youth Summit, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.