A Coventry woman has beaten hundreds of other people to represent Great Britain at the Special Olympic games.
Gold medallist Emily Crilly, 21, from Styvechale, has Down’s Syndrome and is just one of six people selected to represent the UK in gymnastics at next year’s games.
The competition will take place in Abu Dhabi in March next year.
The Special Olympics World Summer Games features seven days of competition in 24 different sports.
It will be played out in front of around 500,000 spectators.
It comes after Emily – who practices at Coventry Sports Centre every weekend – represented the West Midlands at last year’s national games in Sheffield where she won a gold medal.
Proud parent Mandy Crilly said: “Emily has been practicing gymnastics every week since she was seven-years-old, and her selection for next year’s games is a culmination of dedication and hard work.
“She has competed at two previous national games in Bath and Sheffield where you put your name down to compete and go, but this is the first time Emily has been selected from out of hundreds of applicants.
“As well as having Down Syndrome Emily is partially sighted, so for her to get to the level she is at with her gymnastics is phenomenal. Performing on the beam can be difficult as she doesn’t realise how far she is off the ground, so she’s really achieved a lot to get where she is.
“We are excited and very proud of her, particularly as she is juggling her gymnastics with her studies at Hereward College.
“Hopefully Emily’s story will inspire other people reading this to pursue their dreams.”
To celebrate her achievement, she has been invited by Wasps Rugby Club to run out with the match ball ahead of their Aviva Premiership clash against Worcester Warriors at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, April 14.
Wasps are dedicating this weekend’s match to the Armed Forces where they will be raising funds for military charity SSAFA.
Emily’s older brother Daniel Crilly, who is an intelligence officer in Germany in the armed forces, will also be joining his sister at the Ricoh Arena on match day.