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Special Olympics Competitors Win Three Medals

Cambodian athletes join Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles, United States from July 25th until August 2nd 2015. (Courtesy photo of Cambodian Special Olympic Delegation)

Cambodian competitors at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles have won three medals, including a gold.

Competing in the 200-meter run, Thay Sokunthim won a gold medal, and Meas Makara won a bronze. In the bocce competition, Rath Samphos won a bronze. The games continue through Aug. 2.

“Despite having few resources, we have won a gold medal and two bronzes through today,” Meas Sarin, head of the Special Olympics delegation, told VOA Khmer from Los Angeles, where the games are being held. “Without Prime Minister Hun Sen, who sponsored the trip, we could not have made it.”

“I’m proud of our national athletes, who were able to win the gold medal and others,” said Kim Chha Hout, consular-general for Cambodia in California.

The Special Olympics are aimed at encouraging those with disabilities to be more active in society. Of the 27 games being held in Los Angeles, Cambodia is competing in athletics and bocce only.

Gold medalist Thay Sokunthim, 20, told VOA Khmer he had tried hard and won. “I am so proud, and I am so happy, after all,” he said.

Thay Sokunthim’s father, Thay Sipha, a civil servant, told VOA Khmer that he had not expected his son to win. “As his intelligence is lower than normal people, his success surprised me and made me proud of him.”