Mike and Karen Garrison are parents to Colin, Missouri’s sole athlete competing at the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
It’s been a wonderful day! One we’ll remember, cherish and celebrate the rest of our days.
Colin and Tom won the gold medal in doubles! Imagine that – best in the world in their division. It takes our breath away.
And it wasn’t an easy win. They played an excellent team from Gibraltar who went ahead 6-0 in the first 2 frames. That’s a big hole to dig out of. But Colin and Tom dug deep and stayed focused. They only allowed 2 more points the rest of the match. They had another 4 point frame which helped immensely. It finished with an 8-8 tie with the very last ball being within a fraction of an inch in Colin and Tom’s favor. The way the scoring works, Colin and Tom were the uncontested gold medal winners with no tie break needed. They beat the great team from Hungary by 1 point. It was a very close group of teams and every game was down to fractions of an inch. And they won the GOLD!!!!
We couldn’t be more proud. Colin earned a bronze, silver and gold in world competition! That’s pinch-yourself-amazing!!
We spent a good portion of the day waiting on medal ceremonies for all of our athletes. But it was worth celebrating every one of them.
Watching athletes Malta, the Isle of Man, Bangladesh, Suriname and Sudan beaming with their awards warms your heart and humbles you. Try to appreciate how much it took for all of these athletes, from countries large and tiny, rich and poor, to make it to this event, overcoming obstacles through their whole lives. It gives you great perspective about what matters.
Meet the Determined is a phrase we saw everywhere and it captures the spirit of the athletes and the experience. People of Determination is a phrase UAE uses for individuals with intellectual differences. And they are determined. They showed that every single day and we know it’s how they live their lives.
We’ll be headed to the airport tonight to start our journey home. We gave Colin a big hug and high five. We’ll see him on Saturday when his flight arrives, beaming and grinning from ear to ear just as he has all week, with a crick in his neck from wearing so much metal.
We’ll provide an additional update this weekend. Thanks for all of your love and support on this journey. It’s been amazing and it leaves us speechless and humbled.
Many thanks and Abu Dhabi signing out!
Mike and Karen