Skye Westwood earned a gold medal in Abu Dhabi recently as part of the Great Britain team competing in the Special Olympics World Games.
The 17-year-old, who is a member of the Berkhamsted-based Rush Judo club, is the Great Britain, European and World champion and was determined to add a Special Olympics title to her achievements.
The Special Olympics was founded in 1968 and its sporting competition for people with intellectual disabilities was started by Eunice Shriver.
More than five million athletes have competed in the event during its history, coming from over 170 countries.
This year there were more than 30 individual and team sports and athletes compete in events such as gymnastics, cycling and athletics, as well as floorball and snowshoeing.
Skye was selected to be part of the British team due to her sparkling form and was the only female judoka in the team, so was a popular choice for the media and conducted a handful of TV interviews.
Skye competed the morning after the opening ceremony and won all her contests against judoka from countries including Germany, Russia, Belgium and Burkina Faso.
She was absolutely ecstatic to take the podium to be presented with her Olympic gold medal.
Dad Trevor, who is Skye’s coach, said she was “very proud of herself and all of her team-mates”.
Skye’s mum Carla and brother Marshall had a very tense day watching the action from back home in the UK.
Rush Judo said: “Skye is a very popular member and we are all very proud of her, with many following the action and cheering her on – her club mates are all looking forward to seeing her and the Olympic gold medal.”
Coach Laurie Rush was supporting club fighters at the British Schools event in Sheffield but ensured he kept updated on Skye’s achievement.
He said: “She is incredible. Skye is truly an awe-inspiring young lady and we are all so very proud of her.”